Delivering Social Value Works for Communities
Version 1 partner with Cedar to devise a new collaborative model to empower people living with a disability with employability skills on behalf of Department of Finance NI
On 9th June, 10 people living with a disability or who are neurodiverse, were invited to Version 1’s Belfast office to celebrate their successful completion of the Version 1 Employability Skills Programme.
This initiative was delivered with the support of the Department of Finance NI, as part of the social value requirements that were included on the Digital Shared Services Contract. The initiative was developed in partnership with the team and service users at Cedar Foundation. Working collaboratively a full programme was devised and delivered to people with diverse accessibility needs, and individuals whose familiarity with technology ranged from competent end user to those with industry experience.
Version 1 first approached Cedar Foundation in November 2021 with an opportunity to devise and deliver a substantial programme of skills for people at risk of digital exclusion. Cedar Foundation supports a substantial cohort of people who are engaged through their Inclusion Works programme. This programme supports adults with disabilities to build employability skills and experience to support their integration into employment, further education or voluntary sectors. Version 1 worked with the team from Cedar to devise a programme of complementary skills that focussed on remote working and collaboration using digital tools.
The team and service users from Cedar Foundation were so generous with their insight and their time. By matching our industry expertise with initiatives that empower communities, we can deliver real value for Cedar’s service users whilst supporting this initiative for our customer Department of Finance NI. – Jude McVitty, Social Value Manager, Version 1
Participants of the programme joined team members from Version 1 over 12 weeks for sessions delivered remotely, with people participating from both their homes and from a supported site provided by Cedar Foundation. Alongside sessions to improve their CV writing, interview skills and digital competence using remote collaborative tools, the group were invited to complete individual and group exercises to improve their independent working and teamwork skills.
A highlight of the sessions for the whole group was working with OutSystems to design a quiz and explore coding logic.
The team member from Version 1 was just fantastic, they worked with our neurodiverse service users to ensure that they understood the work, Version 1 was so patient with our service users, and they were smiling after the session. – Ashley Poole, Case Officer, Cedar Foundation
The programme concluded with a celebration event at the prestigious Version 1 offices at Lanyon Plaza, where the 10 participants presented some of their work, experiences and feedback from the programme. An assembled audience included family, friends, representatives from Version 1, Cedar Foundation and the Department of Finance, whose vision for Social Value and digital inclusion provided the impetus for the initiative. All the participants of the programme received a certificate to mark their achievements, with their support network offered the opportunity to celebrate their success.
About Version 1
Version 1 proves that IT can make a real difference to our customers’ businesses. We are trusted by global brands to deliver IT services and solutions which drive customer success. Our 2000 strong team works closely with our technology partners to provide independent advice that helps our customers navigate the rapidly changing world of IT. Our greatest strength is balance in our efforts to achieve Customer Success, Empowered People and a Strong Organisation, underpinned by a commitment to our values. We believe this is what makes Version 1 different and more importantly, our customers and our people agree. If you invest in us, we’ll ensure that we invest in you. View our career opportunities here.
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