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Alastair Smith

Age: 56
Area: Taunton, Somerset

Train4Tomorrow bootcamp: IT Readiness, BluescreenIT

Alastair Smith has an eclectic and interesting career background; he’s worked in banking in Canary Wharf, programming for the British Army and most recently as an IT and Computing teacher at a secondary school.

After a battle with his mental health, Alastair took time out of employment. Shortly afterwards, he found himself in challenging circumstances, and was classed as homeless from July 2018 until January 2021.

At the start of 2021, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government pledged to give all homeless people accommodation. And, after being housed in a hostel in Taunton, Alastair felt a sense of stability and could see a way forward.

He received an email from the Department for Work and Pensions offering a number of free courses, including the Train4Tomorrow bootcamps. With a background in technology, the IT Readiness Bootcamp, delivered by IT specialists Bluescreen IT, sounded perfect for him.

The course helped Alastair to refresh and upgrade his IT knowledge, and in just two and a half months, Alastair achieved Comptia A+ and ITF + certification. Certifications which were funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and Health Programme.

Alastair said: “The course ran 5 days a week, over 10 weeks, and provided intensive learning, which brought my IT skills up to date for the modern workplace.”

For Alastair the course also helped him prove to himself and potential employers that he could commit to attending an intensive learning programme.

Alastair continued: “I loved the IT Readiness Bootcamp! The content could have been tailor made for me and refreshed my existing IT knowledge.

“The trainers were fantastic, and the online learning sessions were brilliantly interactive and a lot of fun.

“Since completing the course I have had the confidence to use my updated IT skills and have set up my own limited company as an IT Consultant. I am currently working with Somerset West & Taunton Council on an SQL / MSAccess database as part of the government’s ‘Rough Sleeper Initiative’.”

“Thanks to the Train4Tomorrow bootcamp, and the support I have received from the local authority, I have made progress I could only have dreamed of two years ago. My journey back from depression and alcoholism has been challenging, but now the future looks bright.”

 

Ben Pullen, Training Operations Coordinator at Bluescreen IT, said: “It was a pleasure to have Alastair onboard for the IT Readiness bootcamp, he was a highly motivated individual who always strived to succeed, Alastair has taken the skills he learnt on the bootcamp and has applied them to his own business. The IT Readiness course is perfect for people looking to advance their career in technology, or for people looking to learn new skills and enter a new career.”

If you’re interested in transforming your career and learning new skills, discover the range of courses available to adults (aged 19+) in the South West at www.train4tomorrow.org.uk/