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Last updated: 15.01.13

Open University online course helps father of 3

A father from Croydon, South London, has managed to get his life back on track after enrolling in an Open University e-learning course.

Brian Jones feared for his family's wellbeing when he was made redundant from his position at an IT company, following a two-week absence from work due to stress and an operation to remove a hernia, the Mirror reports.

The 36-year-old has three daughters and oldest child Poppy has special needs, which means his partner Sam is a full-time carer and unable to get a job of her own.

In 2009, Mr Jones enrolled with the Open University and began working towards a technology degree, which allowed him to turn his life around and begin supporting his family once again. He told the news provider one of his favourite parts of the online training was a Cisco Certified Networking Associate module, which he was graded a distinction for.

"Little did I realise what a difference that alone would make to my future. I suddenly realised I had a really coveted skills and that helped to boost my confidence," Mr Jones added.

His e-learning qualification meant he had no trouble applying for jobs and being called in for interviews and within a few weeks of receiving his redundancy payment, the father of three began a new job as a desktop engineer for the NHS.

Mr Jones continued: "I hope to finish my degree at the end of this year. We're in a good place now and that's what really counts. In just a year it all came crashing down but we've built it all up again."

It is not just those who are out of work that can benefit from online learning courses and business leaders may want to consider sharpening up their employees' skills by rolling out digital training within their organisation.

Virtual College - an Ilkley-based online institution - offers modules in various areas of workplace policy, from Equality and Diversity to How to Recognise and Reward Your Team.

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