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Start- Up Project

Opus Employer Engagement


Education & Skills

Product Description

A new, sector-leading website that provides SEND students with a bank of interactive resources to support their learning and a plethora of work experience opportunities to search for and sign-up to.

  • .NET Core 3.1
  • Angular 10
  • Third Party API Integration
Project Size

The Challenge

Removing inefficient, scale-up stifling, manual processes

Opus partner with a number of Local Authorities to provide work placement opportunities for SEND children and adults which can help them into paid and sustainable employment. Amongst others, they have partnerships with nationally recognised brands such as Halfords, Asda, Bella Italia, Holiday Inn and The RAC making them a leading force in this space. 

The day-to-day operation of searching for opportunities with nationally recognised employers and then finding SEND children and/or adults to fill these positions was manual and involved a lot of unnecessary, inefficient admin work from Opus’s office staff. The client realised this meant there was a limit to the amount of Work Placement opportunities they could process, and therefore the amount of SEND people whose lives they could positively impact.

With this in mind, the client decided to start a new business named ‘ductu’ that utilised a digital first approach. ductu would be a scalable, digital first, efficiently ran start-up that would remove any inefficient, admin heavy processes and allow Opus to market its sector leading brand portfolio to a national audience, via a variety of online channels.

Ductu: Software (SAAS) Platform Development

Ductu: Software (SAAS) Platform Development

The Solution

Digitising the operation into a scalable, mass market product

Opus contacted ioSTUDIOS, who, following a number of exploratory meetings, took the clients brief and completed a comprehensive Discovery Period in which a number of outputs were created. A full set of User Stories and Test Cases were written to provide the narrative and detail for any prototyped screens and to also set out the approach for Testing. A fully-linked prototype was also created.

Once the Discovery Outputs were signed-off ioSTUDIOS began the Project at pace and completed it to deadline and budget using its tried and tested Development process that included daily stand-ups, weekly client catch-ups and fortnightly system demo’s.

The new software included the following core areas:  

Backend Admin Area

Functionality in this part of the system included Users being able to set-up a variety of Work Placement Opportunities for multiple facilities using a simple Progress Flow in just minutes. Users could also process any Work Placement requests coming in from SEND childen across the entire business in the admin area.

Customer facing website

The Front Facing site allowed Service Users to sign-up to the service and search for Work Placement opportunities via brand, sector, distance from their address etc using the sites Search functionality. Service Users could then apply for Work Placements by providing necessary information that allowed Opus and the Employer to process such requests.

As mentioned, a key part of the brief for the entire system was to ensure it employed a number of efficiency saving, automated techniques, that took away as much of the manual admin from Opus’s office team - this would then allow these employees to focus on more ‘value add’ tasks.

The Outcome 

Full launch due in 2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Opus decided to change their strategic approach for 2020/21 as a lot of the Businesses and Organisations they partnered with had to halt their operations.

Whilst this occured, Opus focussed on promoting the paid for video content side of the system, as this provided a handy, digital resource for Schools and Teachers to use whilst teaching from home during the UK's national lockdown.

As COVID-19 restrictions lifted in 2021, the client re-engaged with its partners and tentatively agreed a plan to fully role out the system in early 2022.

Ductu: Software (SAAS) Platform Development

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