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Creating a careers content hub for Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helps thousands of people across Scotland further their careers and professional development. My World of Work is SDS’ online careers service, established in 2011 to share employment advice and job opportunities across the country.

Four years later the My World of Work site was struggling to keep up with its success. Users reported that the wealth of content on the site was valuable, but pages were difficult to find, and the site hard to navigate. SDS knew it needed to revamp its service, but as well as refreshing the site’s design and making content easier to find, SDS wanted to create a more personalised experience for its users.

User-centric design

Based on its extensive user research, SDS knew its main user demographic came to the site in search of three things: to explore their career opportunities, to find relevant training, and to search for jobs or apprenticeships.

Following a structure SDS founded on its research, Inviqa built three main chapters that would help users find the information most relevant to them. ‘My career options’, ‘Learn and train’, and ‘Getting a job’ essentially divided the site into three segments, giving SDS the opportunity to offer the most relevant and timely information to its users.

For ‘learn and train’ and ‘getting a job’, Inviqa built a strong search functionality, powered by Apache Solr, that would present users with relevant courses or open opportunities according to their search terms. The site pulled in information on over 80,000 courses taught by Scottish institutions across the region to help users not only find the most relevant, but also the most accessible, courses for their professional development.

Under ‘career options’, the personalisation aspect came to the fore. The team built a six-stage guided questionnaire for each user, designed to reveal an individual’s experience, strengths, skills and more.

Users would then be presented with a page of tailored information based on their answers. Rather than simply a list of current job opportunities, the resulting page would provide career ideas and guidance based on the user’s core attributes and ambitions.

The Inviqa team integrated the Drupal 7 platform with external data sources to show the average salary and growth prospects of each role, as well as real stories from people currently in that role and the career path they took to get there.

CV builder

Having channeled their main demographic into three journeys - career options, training, job seeking - it was important for users to be able to easily advance from one stage to the next. For example, for a user to complete their questionnaire, find a job description they liked, locate training if needed, and apply for a job.

Inviqa created a CV building tool that would populate a CV template using information users had already provided for the questionnaire. Users could then download their CV, automatically formatted, and send to their potential employers.

Flexible content

To maintain the quality, quantity and variety of information available on the site meant the site’s administrators needed complete control over its content.

The Inviqa team upgraded the My World of Work site from Drupal 6 to 7, and introduced the Paragraphs module, giving the editorial team flexibility to design and populate pages as required, but in keeping with the site’s design.

Accessibility and agility

Inviqa built and tested the site to the highest accessibility requirements to ensure the service was available to all users with in-built support for people with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, or neurological disabilities.

The new My World of Work site launched in early 2016. Equipped with a flexible site, SDS’ internal team will now be able to continuously improve their online service and offer an advanced careers service to thousands of Scottish citizens.