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From Tradesman to Tech-Savvy Dad: John’s Digital Journey

Meet John, a mature-aged single parent raising a 15 year-old son who is actively participating in school cadets. John recently relocated to cater to his personal needs and to provide a stable environment for his son. One of his main objectives was to enhance his digital skills, a goal driven by his desire to assist his son in his studies.

But the journey wasn’t easy. John grappled with understanding new technologies and often felt overwhelmed. However, he didn’t let this deter him. He sought help from ETC.

Enter the Workforce Australia – Career Transition Assistance (CTA) digital literacy program for mature-aged job seekers, delivered by ETC.

When John first joined ETC, coming from a background in trades, his digital skills were quite limited. However, he did possess the ability to use YouTube for finding ‘how-to’ tutorials and guides.

John had a clear goal in mind: to master technology to not only support his son with his studies but also to explore job opportunities online for himself. This is where Cindy Hacket, the CTA Team Leader at ETC, stepped in to guide him.

“When chatting about previous work scenarios, I discovered he’d been carrying out the WHS role on construction sites,” says Cindy.

“He’d been installing the panels on new solar farms and filling the team leader role, so I started exploring the idea of undertaking a formal qualification to support the practical and communication skills he demonstrated.”

Figuring out how John could transfer his previous job skills and gain a formal qualification became a pivotal moment in John’s journey. Before he could start a formal course he started working on building his digital skills.

Improving your digital skills through specialised program

The six-week CTA course provided him with the opportunity to learn essential digital skills, such as proper keyboard usage and document creation. By the end of the course, John was not just typing actively but had also procured a reconditioned laptop for himself. This allowed him to continue practising and honing his digital skills. This marked a significant milestone in his journey.

“Further to this, we lodged an expression of interest in undertaking a Cert IV WHS with various training providers, realising there are no face-to-face opportunities for this in regional areas, only online courses.”

“Understandably, John’s frustration and disappointment grew as nothing came back,” adds Cindy.

“Eventually an email from TAFE indicated his application had been cancelled as they’d heard nothing more from their further correspondence. This led him to the local campus with his laptop to prove he had never heard anything further from his initial communication. As it turned out, his enquiry had been disregarded because he was a ‘mature’ applicant (early 50s).”

Let’s move on to some encouraging updates. John has been diligently attending online training sessions twice a week. To aid his transition into the digital world, his local campus has stepped in to offer in-person support, making his first experience as an online student less daunting.

John also dedicates time each day to practise his typing skills, further supporting his learning process. As a result of his consistent efforts, John has transformed into a confident, outgoing individual with a strong command of basic digital skills. With a clear plan in place, he is well on his way to securing a brighter future for both himself and his son.

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