A MUM of two from Solihull who avoided computers for around 20 years has transformed her career through an intensive IT training programme – and is now supporting people with autism.
Sharon Harrison, aged 49, is now helping a group of young men with autism conduct online tasks such as shopping and sending emails after undertaking an intensive IT training programme.
She is now employed part time at Autism West Midlands, where she supports a group of 12 adults, enhancing their own IT skills and encouraging their independence.
The Kingshurst resident, who is visually impaired, had worked across the care industry and the hospitality sector for most of her career until she was made redundant in August 2020.
She eventually decided to boost her IT skills, having rarely used computers in the past and having found previous training courses unsuccessful.
Sharon is now comfortable using most basic computing applications including Microsoft Office, and used these skills as well as guidance from her training provider PET-Xi to draft an effective CV and contact a potential employer, before participating in an online interview.
She also helps colleagues navigate Zoom and Microsoft Teams for weekly meetings.
“The course was short and effective, and played a massive part in helping me to find my new role which never would have been possible before,” said Sharon.
“I’m no longer scared of computers and I’m now working in a role that never would have been an option for me prior to getting in touch with PET-Xi.
“I would urge anyone looking to take advantage of all the post-pandemic job opportunities out there to look into how they can improve their prospects with their help.”
Sharon’s course was funded via the West Midlands Combined Authority.