Creating a digitally skilled workforce

How are advances in digital technology changing jobs?

Existing and new technologies are driving significant changes in the world of work, including jobs in housing.

As a result, the skills we need are changing too. Staff need to have more digital skills to adapt to new working methods and use digital tools to support the increasing demands for better access to services and information. Staff therefore need to be confident in using different types of technology, as well as being able to use their initiative to find solutions and troubleshoot if necessary.

These changes are helping the workforce become more effective and use resources more efficiently for positive and impactful outcomes. For example, staff may be required to support people to attend appointments virtually using systems such as Near Me.

What types of digital skills are needed and why

Everyone should have digital foundation skills. These include being able to:

  • communicate, collaborate and share information online using tools like Microsoft Teams
  • find, manage and store digital information securely – for example, using One Drive and SharePoint to ensure up-to-date information is always available to staff in the support team
  • apply for services and manage transactions online – more transactions are now being managed online, from rent payments and signing new tenancy agreements to supporting tenants with online shopping and banking.
  • find solutions to problems using digital tools and online services – for example, helping tenants to access advice and help from other organisations, such as NHS Inform for up-to-date health information and advice.

Along with these skills, staff should receive training in cybersecurity and be able to reassure tenants that their information is safe.

Bridging the digital skills gap

Qualifications, support and training opportunities are available, which will help housing providers fulfil Pledge 6 of the TEC in Housing Charter: Supporting the Workforce

These include:

How housing providers can support their staff

Housing providers should consider:

  • mapping out the digital skills requirements for job roles
  • measuring staff’s current levels of digital skills to identify gaps, using SCVO guidance https://scvo.scot/support/digital/skills
  • introducing Digital Champions – team members who, as well as talking about the importance of digital with their local teams, also support their colleagues to develop their digital skills. SCVO offers free training for Digital Champions https://bit.ly/3nKOlqM
  • making digital skills a key part of ongoing professional development – for example talking about digital skills in one-to-ones and personal development plans (PDPs)
  • considering access to devices – staff should have regular access to personal or work devices, so they can practice their digital skills.

Turas Learning Platform

NHS Education for Scotland provides a range of resources on its Turas Learn platform. Most of these are open resources and free to use.

Some of the resources require you to have a Turas account. Registering is easy https://bit.ly/30NCQ99

TEC E-Learning Modules

A great way for housing staff to increase their understanding of Technology Enabled Care (Tec) is through the two, free e-learning modules Introduction to TEC and Using TEC in Practice.

Once signed into your account you can access these via the Turas Learn Digital Health and Care learning site https://learn.nes.nhs.scot/2198/digital-health-and-care

Professional Development Award in TEC at SCQF Level 7

Developed by NHS Education for Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and stakeholders across health, social care, housing and academia, the PDA in TEC is delivered virtually and includes a module on Using Digital Technology to Support People in Health, Housing and Care.

More information is available on the Scottish Qualifications Authority website https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/94657.html and Turas Learn Digital Health and Care learning site https://learn.nes.nhs.scot/2198/digital-health-and-care

Digital Health and Care Leadership Programme

Sponsored by the Scottish Government, this virtual programme provides an opportunity for those leading teams or services across health, social care and housing to develop their leadership skills while progressing a digital improvement project in their own organisation.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3cBFDVI

Scottish Social Services Council resources

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) offers a variety of free learning resources, including 23 Things Digital http://23digital.sssc.uk.com/