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This is the Get Digital blog from Fluency, where we share our thoughts on digital, employability and the world in general. Find out more

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Categories: General, Work, Employability, Digital, Startups

How digital skills can help single parents get back to work

Tue 1 Dec, 2015

5 years ago almost to the day, I had this crazy idea. Could I take a group of single mums, teach them digital skills, and get them freelance work so that they could start to earn an income without having to go out to a job? Well I did it. Inspired by a life-changing year being part of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, I set up the Digital Academy training low income single parents to be digital outsourcers. In 2013, when I met my co-founder Ian, this project became Fluency, a di... Read more...

Top 5 Places To Network For A Tech Job In London

Wed 18 Nov, 2015

When starting out in the professional world, networking can feel like a frightening and confusing experience. When trying to build a strong and fruitful career in any field, personal networking is almost essential. You can spend hours online scrolling through hundreds of job boards and almost forget that we can find amazing opportunities through coffee meets, drinks after work or just simply speaking to someone new. With London being the hub of all things tech, there are hundreds of networ... Read more...

The problem with Indian education and how technology can help

Thu 15 Oct, 2015

Greetings from the gorgeous fishing village of Mahabalipuram! My startup tour of India is now over and I am taking a few days in the south state of Tamil Nadu for a few days reflection (and catching some sun after two weeks in air conditioned offices). I’m writing this post from a rooftop cafe in 35 degree heat with a view of the sea. And who says the life of a tech entrepreneur is all work and no play. My last post set the scene for what modern India is today. In this post I wanted ... Read more...

This is India

Thu 8 Oct, 2015

Greeting from Mumbai! I’m one week into a two week startup tour of India funded, very kindly, by the British Council and led by the amazing IndoGenius. So far we have heard from speakers like Kumar Iyer, the British Deputy High Commissioner on opportunities for UK companies in India; Ambi Parameswaren, head of FCB one of the biggest advertising agencies in India; students and start-ups at IIT Bombay, one of the leading technical colleges in the world; and the founders of Zone Startups, ... Read more...

Hear from our learners: Alexandra Mateus from Portugal

Fri 2 Oct, 2015

In our continuing series of blog posts from our Fluency learners, today we catch up with Alexandra Mateus, a masters student who lives in Porto in Portugal. 1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Having had a schizo academic and professional path, I think I can call myself a true polymath. I have had a diverse range of work experiences in digital marketing and project management. I did copy, image and video editing, managed KPIs for construction projects as well as marketing campaigns, and al... Read more...

How Fluency is changing recruiting for the better - making it easier and fairer

Thu 24 Sep, 2015

It's so hard these days for good candidates to stand out from the crowd. Job boards today make it stupidly easy for candidates to search for and apply for hundreds of jobs with a few clicks; without thinking, without reading the job description, without significant effort. But the easier they make it for the applicants, the harder it becomes for the recruiter to filter through swathes of inappropriate candidates, and the more unfair it is on good candidates who have made thoughtful, ... Read more...

Learner story: Wendy Lynch

Thu 10 Sep, 2015

We have lots of different types of learners on Fluency, from recent university grads who want to augment their degree with up to date knowledge to existing employees or entrepreneurs who want to keep their skills relevant. Over the next few weeks, we'll be featuring stories from some of our learners to find out how they are using Fluency. First up is Wendy Lynch, Communications Manager at Dragon Hall Tech Club in London. 1. Tell us a bit about yourself. I got a degree... Read more...

3 Ways To Future-proof For The Future of Work

Fri 4 Sep, 2015

In my day job as CEO of Fluency, a learning platform that teaches young people digital skills and connects them to work opportunities, I get to speak to dozens of job seekers every week. This is an especially busy time as thousands of shiny new college and university graduates finish their summer and start applying for jobs in an attempt to get their foot in the door of their chosen career.  But their youthful optimism starts to fade as they realise that they have graduated into a com... Read more...

Graduate success story: Sam Daniels: from hospitality to recruitment

Thu 20 Aug, 2015

Sam is a graduate of our Paid Search course, co-designed with Forward3D, one of the world's leading digital marketing agencies. After working for 7 years in the hospitality industry and training with Fluency he made a career jump and is now employed as a Recruitment Director at a new startup called ACTC. We caught up with Sam to find out how he is using his new skills in his new role: 1. What were you doing before joining Fluency? Before joining Fluency I worked in the hos... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Gemma, Events and Digital Marketing Coordinator at The Meredith Group

Thu 30 Jul, 2015

Gemma has managed to transfer her recently acquired digital skills into a fantastic job role as Events and Digital Marketing Coordinator at The Meredith Group. After soaking up the summer's sun in Barcelona, Gemma decided to enrol onto our pilot Paid Search course early May this year in order to broaden her understanding of digital marketing and advertising. We caught up with Gemma to see how she's getting on - she's also got some handy tips for all y... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Katrina, Marketing Assistant at Bridgeman Images

Thu 23 Jul, 2015

Fluency graduate Katrina has always taken an interest in marketing and has been lucky enough to experience different internship opportunities that have allowed her to explore her digital skills. Now working as a Marketing Assistant at Bridgeman Images, Katrina shares her experiences leading up to her career, how she found taking part in a Fluency course and some tips of her own that can help you get a job fast.  1. What were you doing before joining Fluency? A f... Read more...

What does the future of learning look like?

Thu 16 Jul, 2015

I was the first in my family to go to university. My parents (an electronic engineer and a nurse) both learned their trade vocationally and my brother and sister weren’t interested in academia. I was always a bit of a swot in school and wanted to go to university to keep learning - as well as to meet boys. 12 years of Catholic school will do that to you! My five years at university were spent mostly running the Dance Society, drinking and occasionally going to lectures. Exams were once ... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Elmira, Social Media Executive at Hello World Group

Wed 15 Jul, 2015

Introducing Elmira! Elmira  joined our social media marketing course in early 2015. Before securing herself a fantastic job role as Social Media Executive at Hello World Group she wasn't entirely sure what career she wanted and thought her social media skills were limited. Continue reading to find out her thoughts on the course and more about her career journey! She's also shared some tips on how you can acquire more skills!    1. What were you doing bef... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Mihaela, Product Content Coordinator at BCSG

Wed 8 Jul, 2015

Fluency graduate Mihaela had been struggling to find affordable opportunities to learn new skills in order to improve her chances of employment. After graduating from Fluency in late 2014 she's now managed to get herself a fantastic role as Product Content Coordinator at BCSG - sounds fancy right? We caught up with Mihaela to see how she's getting on and discuss her journey towards her career. She's also shared some tips on how to break into digital.   1. What were you doi... Read more...

Work in startups: Leah, Technical Trainer at Freeformers

Thu 2 Jul, 2015

Leah was one of the first of our SEO graduates to take part in our revamped SEO and Content Marketing course. Following her success she managed to get herself a full-time role at Freeformers as a Technical Trainer. We caught up with Leah to see how she's getting on!  1. What were you doing before joining Fluency? I had recently arrived in London from Canada and was searching for a job. 2. What made you want to learn more about SEO in the first place? I used to work for a ... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Jasdeep, Digital Marketing Intern at Energy House Digital

Tue 23 Jun, 2015

Jasdeep graduated from Fluency with flying colours in late 2014. Following that he managed to bag himself a position as a Digital Marketing Intern at Energy House Digital. We caught up with Jasdeep to see how he's getting on, and to discuss his journey towards his career. He's also shared his tips on getting a job in digital marketing. Enjoy!  1. What were you doing before you joined Fluency? Not much of note. Before I started taking the course I was essentially spinni... Read more...

Work in digital marketing: Nadia, Digital Marketing Intern at Bauer Media

Thu 18 Jun, 2015

What were you doing before joining Fluency? I had finished school in summer, moved to London and was looking for work experience and internships. I emailed dozens of companies but without connections, any relevant work experience or a degree it seemed impossible to get my foot in the door. What made you want to learn more about digital marketing in the first place? When I was younger, I really wanted to work in traditional Marketing, but specialising in a specific field felt necess... Read more...

Work in content marketing: Fatmatta, Marketing Intern at Islamic Design House

Thu 11 Jun, 2015

What were you doing before joining Fluency? The month before I joined the course I was doing a 4 week internship in a field that I really wasn't interested in. As the month came to a close, I realised just how important it is for me to find a job that I enjoy - after all, you spend almost all of your waking hours at work! A job in Advertising and Marketing had always been the goal but the idea of working specifically in Content Marketing had been floating around in the back of my ... Read more...

Announcing Peer Review!

Wed 27 May, 2015

We're constantly working to make the online learning experience the best it can be. But although we look at a lot of your tasks, we've never had a good way to ensure that everything gets seen and receives feedback. That's been kind of OK up to now, because in pedagogy terms (that's a fancy word for the art or science of teaching), doing the work is where the majority of learning occurs. We've never lost sight of the importance of getting your work reviewed though; receivin... Read more...

How to network better

Thu 14 May, 2015

Networking can often seem like a daunting experience, especially in a professional environment. However it’s something we’ll all have to face at some point in our careers, which is why it’s essential that we make the most out of the networking opportunities that we come across. And you'd be surprised how important your network - which consists of your contacts as well as their networks of contacts in turn - is for getting your foot in the door in the first place. Yo... Read more...

Apply for our new Paid Search blended learning course

Fri 1 May, 2015

Paid search marketing or pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the fastest growing jobs in the UK with nearly 2,500 open roles in London alone. A PPC analyst will work with clients to make sure that ads for their brand name and products appear in the sponsored listings of a search engine (eg Google) or a partner site, and then experiment with different variations to optimise the effectiveness of those ads based on analytics. It's a fast-moving job suitable for people who love numbers... Read more...

Announcing new certificates and LinkedIn integration

Thu 30 Apr, 2015

We're delighted to announce a major new addition to Fluency - certificates! When you pass all the tasks and pass a course on Fluency, you'll see the award on your dashboard as well as on your profile page, and can get to your certificate from here. When you click on the awarded course, you'll see a menu where you can view your certificate for the course you passed. Your certificate is visible on the web to anyone you choose to share the URL with. ... Read more...

Does blended learning work?

Thu 9 Apr, 2015

It is well documented that typical completion rates for pure online learning courses are only about 7% - put another way, only around one in 12 people actually complete a course, with the vast majority falling by the wayside and never finishing the course. It's hard to say why this is, but it seems people find it hard to remain motivated and on-track when all the learning is self-directed and self-paced, with no peer or tutor contact. There are a lot of demands on people's time, ... Read more...

Fluency wins runner-up in BT and Techhub Innovation award

Mon 30 Mar, 2015

Last week the Fluency team were delighted to be invited up to the 34th floor of the BT Tower to enjoy drinks and nibbles set against the backdrop of the most stunning panoramic view of London there is, after pitching in the finals for the BT SME Awards 2015. The winners announced to the invited guests in the famous rotating restaurant were Babylon, an amazing app which is set to revolutionise how people access healthcare; a great team and terrific product. The other f... Read more...

Why start a career in digital marketing?

Tue 3 Mar, 2015

Our online SEO and Content Marketing graduate Cameron shares his thoughts on how he went about choosing the right career, and why you should consider a career in digital marketing.  Choosing  a career path is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make in their lifetime. Failure to choose a career, rather than choosing the wrong one, can also lead to troubling and long-lasting consequences. Naturally, with this kind of pressure comes a profound feeling of uncertainty. ... Read more...

The possible future for the young and unemployed

Tue 24 Feb, 2015

This post is from Rachel, Fluency's sales and marketing executive: In the build up to this year’s election, the Conservatives have proposed what I consider to be a controversial policy. As part of their welfare reform, they plan to make young people aged 18-21 who have been unemployed and receiving Jobseeker's Allowance for 6 months, start an apprenticeship or do community work in order to receive further benefits. These young people will be required to do 1... Read more...

Digital media trends for 2015

Thu 5 Feb, 2015

This is a guest post by Elmira Noosha, who's currently doing our Social Media Marketing course.  The digital world is slowly but surely beginning to merge with our physical one. More and more social media platforms are emerging daily, and businesses large and small are beginning to understand the importance of this digital world. So what trends can we look forward to in 2015? Take a look at my top three game changers, and how they're important for businesses. ... Read more...

10 ways to get the most out of Twitter by Leah Bae

Thu 29 Jan, 2015

I’m not usually one to form a cult-like following for a company. But if there was one platform I would swear on the world by, it’s Twitter. Let me explain why. There are few things on the internet I am a bigger fan of than this social network. Founded in 2006 (“@jack: just setting up my twttr”), Twitter has completely revolutionized the way humans interact with news. I’ve been fortunate to connect and keep in touch with some awesome internet folks through Twit... Read more...

What are the skills we need in a digitised economy?

Wed 21 Jan, 2015

There is much talk here in the UK about the current and looming digital skills gap. A report last year predicted that if the UK cannot find 745,000 digitally skilled workers by 2017, we will lose out on the economic benefit of £2 billion a year. An interim report in July by the UK Digital Skills Taskforce also warned of an impending skills gap. Business agrees. A recent Gallup survey found that only 11 per cent of business leaders in the US believe that graduates have the right skill... Read more...

Front row seats at Digitising Europe

Wed 21 Jan, 2015

Our CEO's passion and determination to upskill the young generation saw her flying off to Berlin last year to join the panel at the Vodafone Institute, Digitising Europe. Sinead discusses the future of work and how we can begin re-thinking what a job is, taking advantage of income generating companies so we have more time to do the things that matter and continuing to educate ourselves in order to become better workers, not people who 'work better'.   Th... Read more...

Inside the recruitment office

Tue 20 Jan, 2015

Kristina Moritiwon has been interning as an operations executive and recruitment consultant at a digital recruitment agency. This has given her back-stage insight into the world of unemployment, particularly recruiting and hiring. Here are her thoughts and experiences on recruitment along with her top 5 tips for securing a job.  Mid-way through my studies of accounting and business management I decided to take a 12 month internship at a recruitment firm. One of the things that took me... Read more...

What's with the Uni degree?

Tue 13 Jan, 2015

Introducing Eleanor Austin, digital media apprentice at 1Decision. Eleanor was lucky enough to stumble across an apprenticeship opportunity during her job hunt and is now working as a social digital apprentice for an interactive platform that provides children with safeguarding tools. Having found something she loves doing, Eleanor's convinced she won't be changing job roles any time soon, and the education opportunity that apprenticeships provide has shown her tha... Read more...

Is there a skills gaps in the future economy?

Wed 7 Jan, 2015

I recently traveled to the lovely city of Berlin in Germany to give a vision talk on the future of work at Vodafone's Digitising Europe conference. I was rather chuffed to be interviewed by the Vodafone Institute's team to discuss what skills are needed in a digitised economy. In the interview I talk about 'looking at the world through a digital lens' - something I am always banging on about here as our mission at Fluency - having an understanding of the technolog... Read more...

How to become a communications assistant with Jessica Tackie

Tue 6 Jan, 2015

What was your journey to get your job? I started out by completing a law degree at the University of Nottingham, with dreams of becoming a hot-shot lawyer, but soon decided it wasn’t for me. I graduated with a 2:1 in Summer 2014 and was extremely honoured to be awarded the Profile-City University London MA Publishing Scholarship by Andrew Franklin of Profile Books, which covered my fees on the City MA Publishing Studies course, secured me an internship at Profile Books and the privil... Read more...

Farewell to our business development intern

Thu 18 Dec, 2014

This week will see the end of our time with the fantastic Melanie Hsu who has travelled from Los Angeles to intern with us here at Fluency. Sadly, she's leaving us to return back home in time for the holidays. Here's how she got on. 1. How did you find interning at a startup? I have always had a keen interest in working in a startup company and when I was given the opportunity this semester I had to go for it! The startup culture is definitely one of my favou... Read more...

Step away from the mulled wine

Wed 17 Dec, 2014

Job hunting can often feel like a downward spiral and it’s easy to take a break from all the applications and CV tuning when the festive season swings around. After all, who would want to spend hours ploughing through application after application when you feel like you’re closer to getting your hands on mulled wine and mince pies than a job. In despite of all this, giving up around the festive season might not be the best way to kick-start your new year - so here are a few motiva... Read more...

"This position is unpaid"

Mon 15 Dec, 2014

This is a guest post from one of our amazing Get Digital graduates, Emily Hier "This position is unpaid": Four words I am sick to death of reading.  Any graduate on the job hunt will, unfortunately, be very familiar with this phrase. I'm tired of the fact that this is the norm now. I'll find a great internship - internship is a codeword for volunteering, I've learned - by a great company, one I've always wanted to work for. Then I'll scroll down f... Read more...

Hire our new Get Digital graduates

Thu 11 Dec, 2014

We're thrilled to announce our latest crop of graduates from our flagship intensive blended learning course, Get Digital. Already three of our fourteen graduates have secured their dream jobs, and we couldn't be happier with the quality of our amazing young stars.  We selected each of them from a huge number of applicants two months ago, and since then they've been hard at work using our online learning platform to learn in-demand digital skills like content marketing and ... Read more...

Create a perfect CV with O2's teams

Tue 9 Dec, 2014

Work alongside O2's team to create the perfect CV. These opportunities are hosted and partnered with GoThinkBig to deliver you the best support and confidence when applying for internships and work experience. Do you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall applying for jobs and never hearing back?! Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s your CV! Or at least it could be… A good CV is essential in securing that all important job or work experience,... Read more...

Guest Post: My journey into digital

Thu 4 Dec, 2014

This is a guest post from one of our Get Digital alumni, Bruk Abdu.  Having left university as a fresh graduate, apprehensive about joining the rat race and unsure about what path I wished to follow, I decided I was content being unemployed. I was still working on other projects I’d been involved in while studying at uni, and with the burden of studying relieved it meant I could contribute more towards Football Beyond Borders: a charity using footba... Read more...

Balancing work, study and motherhood

Thu 4 Dec, 2014

Nicky McGroarty, head of supply chain at 02 shares her experiences working her way through the ranks in the tech industry whilst taking care of three children, studies and work. It's safe to say that 'balance' isn't something that comes naturally to all of us, particularly when you find yourself having to gain more qualifications to become eligible for a job whilst you're on the job, but Nicky proves this to be possible.      Similarly to Nicky's... Read more...

Working in digital in a not-so-digital role: Interview with Rachel Dwyer

Tue 2 Dec, 2014

1.What was your journey to your job?  When I finished 6th form in 2012 I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was 100% sure that uni was not an option for me. I continued working in retail, then went into door-to-door sales then recruitment. When I started working in recruitment, I realised that I have never worked for anything more than a pay-check. I needed a change so I got involved with the Prince's Trust 'Get Into Media' programme and went on to do a course in ... Read more...

5 easy ways to claim your web real estate

Tue 2 Dec, 2014

Indulge me for a moment. Let’s try a little experiment. Open a web browser and do a Google search for your name in quotes i.e. “Sinead Mac Manus”. What results do you see on page one of Google? Is there a website on your domain name? Does your company website come up high in the rankings? What about social media? Can I find you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube? Here are my Google search results: My top 10 search results are: 1. My... Read more...

5 reasons digital will snatch teachers' jobs from right under their noses

Thu 27 Nov, 2014

According to Busted we’ll be living under water in the year 3000 - that may sound like a long shot but its not as unlikely as the chances of our education system re-evaluating the way we teach. I’m no teacher, but in my 20 years I’ve spent more days in the presence of teachers than I’ve spent with most family members and it wasn’t so long ago that I found myself struggling to conform to the ‘one method teaches all’ attitude that is commonly found... Read more...

Apprenticeships, a great way into digital: Interview with Wilson Oryema

Tue 25 Nov, 2014

Getting a foot in the door can be hard in any industry, but it's especially hard to get into digital if you don't have experience. For many people, modern apprenticeships offer a great way of gaining vital experience and proving their worth to employers, and often lead into real jobs. One of the best apprenticeships providers in this space is Tech City Stars, who are inviting applications for their Reboot camp - a two week intensive that gives young people the opportunity to expe... Read more...

How to become a content manager - an interview with Giorgia Martinucci

Mon 17 Nov, 2014

Last week we introduced search & content manager Giorgia Martinucci into our Get Digital programme at the Matter of Form office in Shoreditch. In this “How to…” series Giorgia lets us in on how she developed into a SEO role. 1. What was your journey to get your job? When I started uni I had no idea that I would end up working in digital marketing and I thought I’d become a magazine journalist. I remembered reading about fashion blogs in a pioneering mag... Read more...

Don't want this to happen to you? Work in digital instead!

Wed 12 Nov, 2014

Are you aged 18-25, actively looking for work and want to work in the exciting new world of digital? If you have the first two weeks of December free, we may have just the thing for you! We're planning a new intensive programme, designed to fast-track talented young people into entry-level roles in digital, and we're looking for people with the right stuff to take part. If you're interested in finding out more and applying, get in touch with Sinead at sinead@flu... Read more...

Learning something new everyday: reflections from Creative Collisions

Wed 12 Nov, 2014

Last week I attended the Creative Collisions 2014 Conference in the striking Copper Box stadium in Olympic Park. This year’s conference theme was Uniting for Young People, putting emphasis on the “youth education” problem and bringing together all sorts of organizations to partner and collaborate. There were workshops dedicated to educating these organizations on how they could better their strategies as a business or non-profit, as well as speeches from prominent figur... Read more...

Why internships kick-ass

Tue 11 Nov, 2014

Stepping foot into the world of work is commonly approached in the same way. We finish college or sixth form and told by teachers and parents to apply to University to study a topic that lets face it...by the time we get out, isn’t going to be where the money is let alone where your passions lie. Then we look for ‘real’ work. But what if throwing everyone into the same boat isn’t the best approach to getting everyone into work? Since I started looking for a career i... Read more...

The importance of eating your own dogfood

Wed 5 Nov, 2014

Last week I travelled up to the Lake District to meet some of my oldest friends for a reunion weekend. And on the long drive up the M6 I happened to stop off at a Burger King. Great burgers, actually, if you remember to ask for them not to be smothered in that disgusting sugary yuck that passes for "mayonnaise" and "barbecue sauce". Without that processed crap it actually tastes almost like real food. But I digress: the point was, eating at the table beside me was the mana... Read more...

Community Management - a talk by Fleur McGerr at Get Digital

Tue 4 Nov, 2014

On Monday night we hosted the second week of our Get Digital programme at the Poke London office in Shoreditch featuring our fabulous guest speaker; social media consultant and vintage blogger Fleur McGerr who spoke for 45 minutes on her experiences and tips for social media and community management. We're delighted to be able to feature the first part of her talk in the video below. The audio from the complete session is also available, including t... Read more...

How to become a social media consultant - an interview with Fleur McGerr

Tue 4 Nov, 2014

Yesterday we hosted the second week of our Get Digital programme at the Poke London office in Shoreditch featuring our fabulous guest speaker; social media consultant and vintage blogger Fleur McGerr. She kindly agreed to be interviewed for our "How to..." series. What was your journey to get your job? I've been on 'social media' since before the term itself was invented, from the early days of MSN messenger and chat rooms on dial-up, to Friendster (... Read more...

Why tech for good makes sense in startup land

Thu 30 Oct, 2014

This week I gave a talk to the new recruits at Startup Institute, along with the lovely Melanie Hayes, partner at ‘tech for good’ incubator Bethnal Green Ventures. Startup Institute is one of a new breed of startups and organisations trying to fill the talent gap in tech startups around the world by fast-tracking bright young(ish) things in startup culture as well as hard skills such as coding, product development and technical marketing. Melanie was there to talk about their i... Read more...

What are the skills we need in a digitised economy?

Thu 23 Oct, 2014

There is much talk here in the UK about the current and looming digital skills gap. A report by mobile provider O2 last year predicted that if the UK cannot find 745,000 digitally skilled workers by 2017, we will lose out on the economic benefit of £2 billion a year. An interim report in July by the UK Digital Skills Taskforce also warned of an impending skills gap. Business agrees. A recent Gallup survey found that only 11% of business leaders in the US believe that graduates have t... Read more...

How do I get a job as a Digital Marketing Executive? Interview with Arfah Farooq

Tue 21 Oct, 2014

Arfah Farooq is Marketing Executive at Makers Academy. She is passionate about helping young people develop skills and the social enterprise and startup scene. Say hello to her on Twitter.  What was your journey to get your job? I've had a very abnormal journey! I did go down the usual route of university where I studied media and communication, but since my school days I've always been involved in extra activities from school council to campaigning to student radio. B... Read more...

Dropbox wasn't hacked but it's a great wakeup call

Thu 16 Oct, 2014

As more of our work and personal life moves online, we need to think now and then about how secure our information and accounts are. Web-based tools and software are now an indispensable part of work, particularly in SMEs, but the ease of access of web-based software comes with a risk; your or your company's data is only as secure as the weakest email/password combination that has access to each account or service. This week, the amazing cloud storage service Dropbox was in the news be... Read more...

#GirlstalkLDN

Thu 9 Oct, 2014

7 Women, 1 Mission - Get women into male dominated industries! Last night at the 'O2 Think Big hub' what was meant to be a typical Q&A from audience to panel turned out to become a series of inspirational and thought provoking quotes.   @sineadmacmanus: "Don't get too attached to the highs and lows in life there will always be moments for both" #success #girlstalkLDN — Girls Talk London (@GirlsTalkLondon) October 8, 2014 Had such an amaz... Read more...

How do I get your Digital Marketing Manager job? - An Interview with Tom Bourlet

Tue 7 Oct, 2014

Tom Bourlet is a Brighton-based Digital Marketing Manager, previously exploring a variety of roles in the Digital Marketing industry. He works for SNC Direct, a sports nutrition company. We asked Tom what it’s like to do his job and for some useful tips for others who would like to follow in his footsteps. ?1.How did you get your job? I studied at Brighton University, however my real entrance into digital marketing was through an internship upon graduation. The Sussex University g... Read more...

How do I get your Digital Strategist job? - An interview with Hakim Mendjeli

Tue 30 Sep, 2014

Hakim Mendjeli is a Digital Strategist at Lloyds Banking Group. A digital strategist is the person who comes up with the digital strategy and direction for a corporation or business. We asked Hakim about his role and what skills make a great strategist. ?1. How did you get your job? I found the job via LinkedIn! I made a quick search, saw a job that looked interesting and asked someone I knew connected to the recruiter if they could recommend me. 2. What skills do I need to get your ... Read more...

The future of education without quadratic equations

Wed 24 Sep, 2014

We live in a world of constant change. But there is one thing that hasn’t changed much in the last century; education. If you were wondering whether kids still do quadratic equations, the answer is yes. And many of them wonder why they need to do it and what kind of benefit it brings to their lives.  This was one subject under discussion at RSA’s Skills Summit this week, with panels and talks featuring thought leaders like Conrad Wolfram, Ian Livingston... Read more...

How do I get your Visual Designer job? - An interview with Candy Willems

Tue 23 Sep, 2014

Candy Willems is a London-based motion graphics and visual designer passionate about storytelling and technology. She’s worked at leading relationship marketing agency Havas EHS since 2011. We asked Candy what it’s like to do her job and for some helpful tips for others who would like to follow in her footsteps. 1.How did you get your job? I was still writing my dissertation when a friend of mine suggested we apply for a portfolio review organised by the Young Creative Coun... Read more...

How do I get your Digital Product Manager job? - An interview with Nayeema Chowdhury

Tue 16 Sep, 2014

Nayeema Chowdhury is a Digital Product Manager Manager for the Government Digital Service (GDS). GDS is leading the digital transformation of government so that all government services in the near future will be online or ‘digital by default’. We asked Nayeema about her role and what’s it like working for the civil service. 1.How did you get your job? There was q?uite a buzz about the work Government Digital Service was doing for the benefit of citizens when I decided ... Read more...

How do I get your Digital Project Manager job? An Interview with Imogen Heath

Tue 9 Sep, 2014

Imogen Heath is a freelance Digital Project Manager at digital marketing and design agency SAS London. A digital project manager is the person who works with all members of a digital team and help keep them on track. We asked Imogen about her role and what skills make a great project manager. 1. How did you get your job? Last year I decided to quit my permanent job as a senior digital project manager and start freelancing. It was terrifying at first not knowing if I would get a contract... Read more...

Five easy ways to claim your web real estate

Fri 15 Aug, 2014

Indulge me for a moment. Let’s try a little experiment. Open a web browser and do a Google search for your name in quotes i.e. “sinead mac manus”. What results do you see on page one of Google. Is there a website on your domain name? What about social media? Can I find you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube?  Here are my Google search results: My top search results are: My domain name, sineadmacmanus.com on which I use Flavors.me to ho... Read more...

How to build a startup with a social impact

Wed 13 Aug, 2014

In this weeks blog post, Smarta interviews our CEO Sinead on how she built a successful with social impact start up. This article originally appeared on Smarta *** How do you build a successful brand that also makes a social impact? We ask Sinead Mac Manus, co-founder and CEO of education technology startup Fluency, how she has grown her business after seeing several gaps in the market. What’s your story? I’m originally from Dublin, Ireland. I moved to London 13 yea... Read more...

Reach for the (Tech City) Stars

Wed 30 Jul, 2014

It’s summer in London – and it’s not raining. There’s hardly any reason for staying indoors. However, as we walked into STEM Academy yesterday morning to deliver a workshop for Tech City Stars, we found forty young people with a contagious energy and desire to learn. Tech City Stars, just like Fluency, believes in the power of alternative education. They have designed a one year apprenticeship programme that trains young people in one of three major areas – co... Read more...

Can online working reduce welfare reliance?

Thu 27 Feb, 2014

The welfare budget has been high on the news agenda for the past few weeks with Cardinal Nichols heavily criticising the Government’s welfare policies and their impact on vulnerable people. Benefit claimants have also been front of mind recently with the controversial TV show Benefits Street. And a number of voluntary sector organisations including Barnardos, Shelter and Crisis have written to the Treasury about the proposed changes to welfare, particularly around the proposed Annually ... Read more...

Why the move to fractional employment could be a gender issue

Mon 20 Jan, 2014

This is a post from Ian Anderson, Fuency’s CTO Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of LastMinute.com, Baroness of Soho and respected doyenne of the startup world, made a speech to the House of Lords last week to mark the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web in which she highlighted some worrying trends: * There are 11 million adults who lack four basic online skills – the ability to communicate, search and share information and to do these things safely. * 50% are over 65 but ... Read more...

Skilling up the digital talent gap

Thu 16 Jan, 2014

A recent study from the OMI has revealed digital marketing to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with digital marketing skills predicted to be the most desirable skill of 2014. Yet, at the same time companies are facing a digital marketing skills shortage. A study of some 747 executives from the Fortune 500 companies and global agencies found that these executives are unhappy with the skills of their digital marketing and social media teams. This means that companies ar... Read more...

‘The Millennials are Coming’

Thu 12 Dec, 2013

A few weeks ago we beat 12 education startups to win the London heat of The Challenge Cup! The Challenge Cup is a global competition to identify and celebrate the most promising startups tackling the biggest challenges in education, health, energy, and smart cities. Next year we will be off to Washington DC to compete in the global finals. In this weeks blog post Michelle Burwell interviews our CEO Sinead on winning the Challenge Cup. *** Creating a startup is a lot like that Whac... Read more...

No Flat White Economy at Skills London (just expensive hot dogs)

Fri 29 Nov, 2013

Last Saturday I eagerly trotted down to London’s Excel Centre – a mammoth exhibition centre in the heart of London’s Docklands – to attend Skills London. Billed London’s biggest jobs fair it claimed to have over 35,000 jobs including apprenticeships on offer. I knew there was going to be a technology area as Tech Mix magazine (which we’re in this month – yeah!) had contacted us to be part of this zone but we didn’t have the resources at the t... Read more...

Transforming the way we learn and teach

Sat 9 Nov, 2013

Yesterday I was thrilled to be invited to the houses of Parliament for Silicon Valley comes to the UK - an annual event that brings silicon valley entrepreneurs to the UK to share their expertise with the British startup scene. The talk discussed how education technology is transforming learning for both teachers and students. It was a fascinating morning with speakers ranging from Lord Puttman to Diane Tavenner from Summit Public Schools in Silicon Valley. The morning kicked off with ... Read more...

Where are the moonshots? Reflections from the Web Summit

Fri 1 Nov, 2013

This week I was lucky enough to fly to Dublin for the annual Web Summit – a two day and night meeting of some of the best minds and startups in technology today. The summit was only founded three years ago by Paddy Crosgrave but has grown to over 10,000 attendees and 350 speakers including  luminaries such as Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuck and Phil Libin from Evernote. There were many great fireside chats and panels from the founders of companies like Dropbox, Hailo and oDesk, and ... Read more...

Viva Italia! (Well, not really)

Fri 25 Oct, 2013

Last week I was on a much deserved break on holiday in southern Italy. Myself and and my partner Alex had a wonderful week driving from the east coast in Calabria to the ‘heel’ of Italy and Puglia. Amazing area – do visit if you can. While we were there it came home to me how Italy, and especially Italy’s youth, are facing difficult times. The contrast between the obvious poverty in places like Calabria compared to the more obvious wealth of the tourism-boosted Pugl... Read more...

The future of education: 10 trends to watch

Thu 3 Oct, 2013

This weekend I attended FutureFest by Nesta at Shoreditch Town Hall – a packed weekend full of talks about the future. One enlightening talk by Tom Kenyon spoke about the 10 trends he sees with education in the next 25 years and I wanted to share those, and our Fluency thoughts, with you today.   1. All students will have an Internet enabled device With the cost of laptops such as Chromebooks and personal tablets coming down in price, it&rsquo... Read more...

Why apprenticeships don’t work for small businesses

Thu 26 Sep, 2013

A new report out this week from the independent Skills Taskforce (commissioned by the Labour Party) takes a look at the quality of vocational training and calls for the doubling of the number of high quality apprenticeships offered by employers in England within five years.The Skills Taskforce’s paper “A revolution in apprenticeships: a something-for-something deal with employers” recommends to put more control over apprenticeships into the hands of the employe?rs who w... Read more...

Lessons from a tech incubator

Thu 19 Sep, 2013

Bethnal Green Ventures at Nesta to meet our fellow team members starting on a 12 week adventure. After the excitement of meeting 25 new people, weeks settled into a distinctive routine. Mondays were team updates finding out what the other teams had been up to and what they needed help with. Monday lunchtimes were Founder Confidential with a fantastic lunch provided (thanks Lily!) and a chance to grill other start-up founders about their successes and challenges. Wednesdays were office... Read more...

Hola Fluency! How to tackle youth unemployment in Spain

Thu 5 Sep, 2013

According to Saturday’s Guardian newspaper youth unemployment in Spain has reached a new high of 56.1%. The country now accounts for a quarter of the 3.5 million jobless under 25′s across the Eurozone. The number of young Spaniards out of work has arisen 2% since June to 883,000. Only Greece has a higher percentage of young people out of work at 62.9%. The Fluency team are here this week at Campus Party in the O2 with thousands of young people from all over ... Read more...

Getting young people fluent in digital

Mon 5 Aug, 2013

This article originally appeared on the Guardian Social Enterprise Network.  What do you get when you mix unemployed young people with a blended learning incubator in digital skills? That’s what we at Fluency, a new education technology startup, plan to find out. We hope that our unique method of training young people in the skills that small businesses in the UK need, will be instrumental in helping some of the 1.4 million young people not in education,... Read more...

Fluency chosen to be part of the Bethnal Green Ventures summer cohort!

Wed 26 Jun, 2013

We are thrilled to be able to officially announce that Fluency has been chosen as one of ten teams (from a whopping 90 applications!) to be part of theBethnal Green Ventures incubator. BGV started three years ago in the Young Foundation building in Bethnal Green (hence the name) with the aim of finding and supporting the most talented startup founders and help them create technology based solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. Based on the... Read more...

How Britain’s SME’s are missing a digital trick

Wed 12 Jun, 2013

A new report commissioned by Lloyds TSB bank, has found that many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – those business with less than 250 employees – are not making the most out the opportunities that digital – websites, social media, ecommerce and mobile – can give them. At the beginning of 2012, there were just under 5 million businesses in the UK. SMEs make up a staggering 99.9% of this number. They are responsible for almost 60% of private sector empl... Read more...

Infographic: Where are the UK startup jobs?

Fri 7 Jun, 2013

New figures by Adzuna and Silicon Milkroundabout show a huge increase in demand for talent in tech and for digital marketing jobs. Silicon Milkroundabout, the leading jobs fair for the London startup scene, and Adzuna, a search engine for classified ads, have today revealed new figures that show that there are more jobs than ever before in the UK’s tech startup scene. Tech hubs around the country, including London’s Tech City, are hiring for 3,229 positions, up 22% since 2012. ... Read more...

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