SCDIA Virtual Support Project in Collaboration with Autonome

AutonoMe worked with six local authority partners to develop and test the idea that vulnerable people can use virtual support to gain skills for independence in the home and or employment as well as support positive mental health and wellbeing. 

Prior to testing the virtual support approach with learners, the partners met virtually to identify key challenges they would like to address and their aims for the project. During this collaborative planning phase, these challenges were used to create measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) for the project.

36 learners completed the project. From September 2020; learners used AutonoMe at Home to develop independent living skills in the home and from January 2021 used AutonoMe at Work to develop their employability. Whilst learners practiced skills for independent living through AutonoMe at Home; the additional features and content required for the AutonoMe at Work were co- produced with the partners in preparation for the launch of AutonoMe at Work in January. The content and features reflected the input and collaboration from the partners as well as the learners on the project.

In January 2021, the AutonoMe at Work service began with an assessment of aspirations, knowledge and attitude towards employment as well as an assessment of learners’ confidence, motivation, resilience and anxiety which was closely followed by the release of new employability content selected by the partners. 

From January 2021, SCDIA learners have been practicing new employability skills and learning about the work environment. As with AutonoMe at Home content, learners self-assessed their independence with each skill which forms the backbone of the data we analyse and report. In addition to this feedback, learner and other stakeholder views were sought informally throughout the project by the dedicated Local Education Officer (LEO) and more formally in the end of project surveys which took place March 2021. 

Behind the scenes; AutonoMe created a new tab, self-assessment screen and icons on the existing AutonoMe app dedicated to employability and available only to SCDIA learners. This required roughly 2 months of development and testing lead by AutonoMe’s in- house lead developer. AutonoMe hired a fulltime videographer in November to support the creation of the new employability content. Creating this content commenced December 2020 with the new service launched in January.