Covid career change: Filling skills gaps as a public service interpreter

While many parts of the UK economy have been hit hard and there is a jobs crisis looming as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still areas in which there are skills gaps that desperately need to be filled.

The Government is looking at a range of interventions including funding vocational education to enable people to more quickly up-skill and re-train in areas that require specialist skills. Public service interpreting is one such area where organisations like the Ministry of Justice and NHS are desperately in need of interpreters of who have the skills, qualifications, and experience to deliver face-to-face, telephone, and video interpreting in a range of settings from hospitals to courtrooms. If you speak English and another language fluently, you have the foundations, but specialist training in interpreting skills is vital to ensure the quality of service delivery.

However, it is not as difficult, expensive, or time-consuming as you may think to train as a public service interpreter. Remote interpreting has become much more prevalent as a result of the pandemic and, in turn, so has remote learning. You can now complete qualifications and training mostly, if not all, online from the comfort of your home in a matter weeks or months, depending on the level/type.

We have already seen a big influx of enquiries about becoming an interpreter from those who have not previously considered it as a career. It is certainly an attractive career option at a time when people are looking for greater flexibility and rewarding work where they can help vulnerable people. It is also largely pandemic/recession-proof as a critical service that can be delivered remotely.

A good place to start is a Level 3 Certificate in Community Interpreting (CCI), which we have developed a completely online version of including a webinar-based preparation course and exam conducted via video-conference. We can then support you throughout your career journey to the highest levels of the profession, delivering simultaneous interpreting in the justice sector with a degree-equivalent Level 6 Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI – Law).

Find out more about whether a career as a public service interpreter is right for you, what the career journey of a top public service interpreter looks like, and what qualifications and training are available to help you start, progress, and develop a career in the profession.