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As part of SOA’s vision statement “To broaden the opportunities for people to release their creativity and develop the technical skills to transform the world around them” we have 4 key pillars:

1. Broadening Opportunities

2. Release Creativity

3. Develop Technical Skills

4. Transform the World around them


Releasing Creativity


The thought of releasing someone’s creativity sounds really liberating and something we should be doing, right? The wording itself sounds positive and why would you not want to do this? Let us start with what do we mean by this. We believe that all people have potential, and all people can be creative, its understanding what stops us from being creative.


Creativity is a sought-after skillset by many employers. The world of work is changing rapidly and as we embrace more and more technology and digital transformation our work tasks are changing, and we are using technology to complete manual, repetitive tasks, and processes. We require people to think creatively to solve business problems to work in collaboration with each other and have more time to focus on customers and value-added tasks.


This is not new; we are already starting to see this change and we have a huge challenge to prepare people for the future of work and address the skills that they require. Within this Forbes article, it states the mains skills needed for the future of work – creativity placed at number one: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/04/29/the-10-vital-skills-you-will-need-for-the-future-of-work/?sh=48cd77183f5b


Okay, we know that we need this, the question is…


How and what stops us?


Creativity: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something


To be creative we must think about our environment and how we are feeling. We must look at ways of being inspired which we will find from our surroundings, through the space that we work in, to the people we are around. Our minds must be free to think, be imaginative and try something new and most importantly know that it is ok, and you will be supported by your colleagues and leaders within the business to express yourself.


The world of work has changed and the thought of working 9-5 for 5 set days in the week no longer appeals to everyone. We can now look at a hybrid model of working and collaborating in the office or working from home. It is about choice and finding what works for you to be at your best to enable you to work productively. Life is about balance and this includes work. More than ever, we are faced with the pace of life getting quicker, but this can overwhelm us at times, and we get caught in the cycle of keeping our heads down and going through the motions. If we are to solve business problems and have new innovative ideas, we need to have the time and space to accomplish this.


Those who are leaders in business and require our teams to think creatively, solve problems and have new ideas then we must look at how we support and facilitate the environment to allow this to happen. Teams or individuals cannot just “be creative”; there is so much to consider, and the conditions can be supported by the leaders. An important factor for any leader to consider is the fact that we must get to know our teams individually and what works for them. We must ask how they are and understand how they are feeling if we are to set them tasks to be creative. If one of our team have things on their mind such as stresses, worries or feelings of being anxious, they will not have the capacity to think freely and come up with these innovative ideas. Source below highlight ways in which leaders can focus on the creativity of their teams: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/12/21/15-ways-leaders-can-promote-creativity-in-the-workplace/?sh=4404c6f558ef

https://hbr.org/2008/10/creativity-and-the-role-of-the-leader


How SoA enhances creativity


At SOA, our team comes with a variety of experiences in both life and work but for many of our team they are at the start of their working careers. As they progress with their careers, the skills and their abilities to be creative in their thinking, collaborate with others, problem solve will be equally as important as their technical abilities to use the automation technology and latest software. For us it is so important that we continue to address this and create an environment that encourages such ways of working by allowing individuals to grow and build on the skills they will need for the future of work.


Releasing creativity requires multiple conditions and an environment to flourish. Knowing your team individually and understanding what works well for them, will offer the opportunity to liberate our teams and set the scene to think freely.




Here are some more resources that you may find interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms


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School of Automation have core offerings and services for people and businesses in Process Automation. We support new entrants into the sector via an Apprenticeship and a Traineeship model and offer businesses professional training services to upskill or reskill existing staff with automation skills for the future.


We want to broaden the opportunities for people to release their creativity and develop the technical skills to transform the world around them.

“We aim to offer an alternative pathway and option, for people looking for work, who want to enter a career in Process Automation or for those already in work to upskill or reskill through our professional training courses in order to meet the rapid growth in Digital Transformation.” - Marc Cooper, CEO School of Automation.

Broadening Opportunities


One of our key pillars is to broaden the opportunities and we believe there is a huge talent pool of individuals who have the potential to have a successful career in automation. Most people would agree that the route to such a career existed via an academic route through university and coming into the sector as a graduate. (which does exist, and many people do and are successful) but what about the thousands of others who choose a different route to find their way in the world. Our point is there is no right or wrong path here, we are creating an alternative path that allows more talented individuals the opportunity to train and gain the required skills to enter the sector.


Our aim is to be inclusive and provide opportunities to people who may have thought a career in automation was beyond their reach. We have started in Glasgow and have successfully run 2 courses employing 15 new junior developers who will support businesses with their automation projects. Our new developers all started with almost no or limited knowledge of Process Automation and they have successfully completed their initial training journey. We have a varied age range from 17yrs old through to 28yr olds and they all found their way from a variety of previous experiences from school leavers, college leaver, unemployed, part time working or some who previously left university. We want to show others that no matter what your previous experience has been to date, you can be part of this exciting digital transformation, and have a career in tech.

“I had no idea that I could have a career in Process Automation and now that I know more, this is the future of work” - Wayne Ncube, Junior Process Automation Developer, SOA.

A fitting example of this, is the story of one of our brightest junior developers Marla Chalmers. Marla finished her secondary education at Springburn Academy in Glasgow and was very unsure of her next steps, she had no experience of the world of work and was lacking in confidence and self-belief. Marla spent valuable time with a local training provider building on her personal and professional skills before progressing from there to our initial 12-week core training programme. It was here that we could see the potential, that Marla had a natural understanding of technology and very quickly picked up the skills required to use the Robotic Process Automation software. Marla has recently passed her UiPath (RPA Associate) industry certificate and is currently working on a client partner project (Costain Group Plc). She is an inspiration to others and works so hard to keep learning and we look forward to what the future holds for her. #women in tech



“I chose this apprenticeship programme because it is a great opportunity in a sector that interested me. I had no prior knowledge of RPA but was intrigued by it and excited to learn more. I feel like I have grown professionally and hope to evolve even further as a developer through this apprenticeship with SoA. I like that they are so focused on being creative and inspiring innovation while still caring about the people as well.” Marla Chalmers

If you are interested in finding out more about School of Automation, please get in touch through our website; www.schoolofautomation.tech

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Updated: Mar 24

The pandemic has been particularly hard on young people and employment levels are hitting a record low. Businesses are now transforming the way they operate to be able to adapt and thrive, in a world of new technology and digital transformation.





Process automation offers great opportunities, but is our youth ready?


New research has found that almost half of young people (47%) aged between 16-24 believe that one day they will work in a role that does not exist yet, but only one in five (18%) think they are equipped with the skills required to future-proof their careers. Almost three quarters (74%) also feel that they are not getting enough information about careers that will be available in the future. (Stats provided by The Manufacturer)


How SoA is creating opportunities through COVID-19 and beyond


McKinsey Global Institute report estimated that by 2030, automation will drive 75 to 375 million jobs. School of Automation is on a mission to create sustainable employment for new talent by providing them with the training and support to gain knowledge and skills of emerging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation. Process Automation is recognised as one of the technologies that is defining the future of work. The adoption of Process Automation technologies has been further accelerated by the pandemic leaving a huge skills gap and need for resource. Preparing talent to take on process automation projects would support businesses embark on automation projects with confidence, whilst at the same time providing a sustainable eco system of new talent into the sector.


We provide support and training to new developers. and offer them real tangible experience, to develop their knowledge and skills by creating alternative career paths into Process Automation.


Throughout the pandemic we have continued our recruitment and training via our online learning platform/portal, were our technical trainers guide you through the journey.


Our apprentices have worked on real live client projects and have found the experience invaluable. Our client partners have been delighted with the quality and standards of work produced and continue to engage with us on future automation projects. Read more about how we have helped fill the automation skill gap (link to Costain blog here)


Going strong, despite the challenges


Hear from our newest employees at School of Automation about gaining employment and what they are looking forward to in the year ahead;


“I chose this apprenticeship programme because it is a great opportunity in a field that interested me. Even with no prior knowledge of RPA specifically, I was intrigued by it and excited to learn more. I feel like I have grown a lot already and hope to evolve even further as a developer through this apprenticeship with SoA. I like that they are so focused on being creative and inspiring innovation while still caring about the people as well.” - Marla Chalmers, Group 1


“Through the programme, I would like to achieve a full-time job in automation. It was the aspect of learning new and useful skills for the future whilst getting the real experience of working with colleagues and clients. The thing I like most about SoA is that no matter what stage of automation I get to, there is always ways I can be shown to improve and get better.” - Evan McFadden, Group 2



Conclusion


The future of work is changing, and we need to support people to develop the right skills and attributes in order to be ready for digital transformation. More and more businesses are looking for new skills and experience and Process Automation is one of those growing trends in the market. SOA provides individuals an alternative career path into Process Automation via hands on learning, training and upskilling supported by qualification and industry certification.

The global pandemic has had such a devastating impact on many lives and the long term effects are yet to be fully known. What we do believe is that people need opportunities now more than ever to feel part of something and to give them a sense of worth and belonging.

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We exist to broaden the opportunities for people to release their creativity and develop the technical skills to transform the world around them.

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