As signatories of the Scottish Government’s Digital Participation Charter, SQA have committed to helping people in Scotland who are not currently online. SQA have formed a partnership with the Wheatley Group, who also signed the Charter, to help provide digital skills and support to the Wheatley environmental and janitorial project staff, helping them to carry out work-related tasks such as filling in online timesheets and work logs or personal tasks such as emailing, banking or applying for jobs.
SQA have gifted every employee with 21 hours per year to participate in meaningful voluntary work; digital volunteering is one of their options and to date a total of 28 staff are, or have been, involved in providing digital support to Wheatley project staff. This number is increasing as those involved inform colleagues about their experiences. Feedback from volunteers has been really positive with most commenting on how rewarding and enjoyable it is. Feedback from Wheatley group participants has been 100% positive and several success stories have emerged from participants who have moved on into full time employment to those who have decided to undertake certificated courses in digital skills.
The digital volunteers are a particularly committed group; they work with their operatives on a one-to-one basis for one hour every 2 weeks over the course of a year, or until the operative feels confident that they can carry on unsupported. As each operative becomes more confident and adept, they in turn are passing on the skills and knowledge to other operatives within their working groups; Wheatley aim to have all of their 800+ staff digitally literate within 2 years, and the partnership with SQA will go a long way to achieving that aim.