Skills Support for the Workforce

Whitehouse Publishing - Rachael

Rachael is the owner and publisher of a medical journal, with her role encompassing everything from marketing to advertising. With a comfortable level of digital skills, Rachael wanted to increase her knowledge to aid the redevelopment of her website and enable her to effectively update the site with new content, as well as improve Search Engine Optimisation.

How SSW Supported Rachael

Rachael undertook Non-Regulated ICT For Users: WordPress Level 2 training with Digital Peninsula Network, one of the expert training providers chosen to carry out the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme. As SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Rachael was able to access the training at no cost to herself or the business.

As part of her training, Rachael was able to work on a dummy website which her tutor was able to view and provide guidance where needed. The course was originally due to be delivered in person, but lockdown restrictions meant that the course was delivered remotely via Zoom. Rachael observed the Lead Tutor modelling each step via Screenshare before implementing the tasks. A second tutor was available to provide additional support when needed, and all learners had ongoing access to a Virtual Learning Environment providing lesson resources, overviews, and an online forum.

Rachael reflected: “I really appreciated that the course was delivered online and thought that it was done really well – especially as it wasn’t part of the original plan.  The IT worked seamlessly, and I was very impressed with the trainers, Sioban and Paddy. They delivered a complicated subject in an easily accessible format that everyone in the group was able to follow, no matter what their prior knowledge.”

Rachael achieved her primary goal of implementing the prerequisite changes to her website. As a result, it was accepted by the Directory of Open Access Journals. This means that the articles she publishes will be more visible in academic spheres, increasing the quantity and quality of authors that will want to publish with the business. This raises professional respect and reputation and, in turn, attracts more advertisers, pulling in revenue and building the brand. Rachael has also implemented and embedded her WordPress skills for others, setting up a website for an artist friend and volunteering to create a website for a local walking group.

Rachael has progressed to Level 3 WordPress training, which includes topics such as the use of plugins to improve functionality, testing accessibility and loading speeds. She is also considering training in the development of social media marketing strategies.