Restart Scheme

Serco Restart Scheme delivers essential Digital Skills Course to Vulnerable Women

9th May 2023 Restart Scheme

The Restart Scheme has been working in partnership with Maximus UK, a delivery partner supporting the Restart Scheme in West Central and Wales and Smart Works Birmingham, a charity designed to give women confidence in reaching their full potential, to support the delivery of a pilot ‘Essential Digital Skills’ course. This course is aimed at women who have suffered from domestic abuse to gain essential digital skills. 

This free, women-only course is delivered by the SCC Academy who provide learners with an opportunity to acquire a range of skills through free in-person courses, taught by qualified teachers.

The “Essential Digital Skills” course is aimed at individuals who have very little or no understanding of basic digital skills, or who may benefit from brushing up their skills. Whether looking for a job or wanting to connect with family and networks, understanding basic digital tools and apps can help reduce isolation, barriers to employment and increase confidence and online safety.

Also, recognising the importance of ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, leadership and problem-solving, learners are given opportunities to work with others to create their own projects and learn how to create their own CVs and cover letters in order to instil these desirable qualities in all professions.

The course explores how basic digital skills can help improve employability pathways and how to stay connected to family/friends.

Some areas that are covered include:

  • How to Create, Open and Send Emails
  • How to Create and Attach Files and Folders
  • Using the Internet and Creating a LinkedIn Profile
  • Using Outlook, Teams, Mobile Devices and Apps
  • Malware and Digital Wellbeing
  • Online Forms and Online Shopping
  • Desktop Publishing – Word: Fundamentals/Advanced
  • Presentation Software – PowerPoint: Fundamentals
  • Spreadsheets -Excel
  • Creating a CV and Cover Letter

In March, a number of women who completed the course met in Birmingham to celebrate successfully completing the course. There was a “marketplace” of services and support companies present, ranging from:

  • access to job vacancies
  • work placements
  • CV writing
  • local charities
  • community groups to assist learners with cost-of-living support
  • food banks
  • benefits advice
  • and language support
  • along with light refreshments kindly donated by the Muath Trust.

The feedback from course participants has been extremely positive and demonstrated the value it provided. Here are some of their comments:

“When I came to England, I didn’t speak any English. I married young and was told I didn’t need to study as the family will provide for everything. When the marriage failed, I found my strength and this course has helped me to see that I can do anything.”

“I thought I was too old to learn about digital skills, before I could only text or open email. Now I can shop online and have internet banking. It's so easy, I wish I had done this sooner.”

“Before I didn’t go out much but then I joined the course and look forward to each lesson. I have made so many friends now and go out.”

Clive Thomas, Partnership Coordinator for the Restart Scheme who connected these organisation together shared his thoughts:

“This has been an amazing journey whereby the Serco Restart Scheme has been able to work with, and coordinate, such a brilliant and much needed pilot for the benefit of those who may have otherwise never been given the opportunity to flourish. We hope we have been able to raise the profile of the challenges that this cohort faces, but also to show that by working together under a common goal (in this case the EDAC umbrella), just exactly what is possible when dedicated people come together”.


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