Professional Digital Champions
A professional Digital Champion is employed to work directly with learners and to support and recruit volunteer Digital Champions.
Where do they work?
Professional Digital Champions work in a variety of settings including:
- Local councils;
- Social housing landlords;
- Local charities and third sector organisations providing contracted services.
Professional Champions could provide support either directly or through volunteers. They provide person-centred support which is learner-led, as well as facilitating access to more formal training opportunities.
Professional Champions have strong networks locally with key organisations, such as Job Centres or Advice services. They often receive direct referrals from these organisations.
“I got a job! Because of the help [the Digital Champion] gave me. When I got a job I went in to see him and thanked him for his help. I can’t thank him enough.”Citizens Online One Digital learner
What skills does a professional Digital Champion need?
- Basic and advanced digital skills
- Digital enthusiast
- Good communicator
- Willing to undertake training
- Comfortable completing monitoring and impact reporting
- Experience of facilitating, coaching and training
- Able to work with and support volunteers
“I am very happy with my Champion, Alastair. He is very patient and allows me to make mistakes. At first, I was worried, but now I know what to do. I can find my CV online any time and I can check Google Maps to see how far [the] new job is from my home. He has [a] very good approach and is good with people.”Clarion Futures’ One Digital learner
“I knew nothing about computers and felt lost. Now with the mentorship of the professional Digital Champion John, I am confident using a computer and being online”Amelie, a One Digital learner with Phoenix Community Housing, Lewisham
Pros and cons of using professional Digital Champions
- High level of functioning digital skills and training/support skills
- Consistent quality of digital skills support
- Reliable monitoring and reporting of Digital Champion activity (part of job description)
- Flexibility – services can be tailored to local needs on the ground
- Low levels of management support
- Likely to be less turnover of staff
- Paid roles require significant financial input
- Requires ongoing financial support to be scalable
This video presentation by David Scurr, Partnership & Project Manager with Citizens Online, provides an in-depth look into professional Digital Champions.
Find out more about professional digital champions…
- Case Study about Digital Champions working with Clarion Futures’ Jobs & Training Team to support people into gainful employment
- A Digital Champion’s Story by Rachel Martin who works as a professional Digital Champion for Citizens Online and for Gwynedd Council Libraries service
- Third progress report by Clarion Futures which includes a spotlight case study into professional Digital Champions at Phoenix Community Housing in Lewisham
- Learning visit to Clarion Futures’ digital learning sessions run by digital champions for their community
- Blog post about professional Community Digital Champion Glenn Lloyd who works for the Digital Brighton & Hove project
- Blog post about professional Community Digital Champion Josie Jeffery who works for the Digital Brighton & Hove project