The ICT centre contributes significantly to the training and employment aims and targets of the Priory Court Community Project and has been running courses and activities at the community centre since April 2001. The past five years has attracted 935 adult learners, both from the Priory Court estate and neighbouring wards such as Higham Hill. In addition we have attracted more than 290 children and young people under the age of 19 for ICT based after school clubs, workshops and other activities.
The ICT Project has been long established as part of the national UK Online network which aims to tackle ‘Digital Exclusion’ by providing a learning journey for people with no knowledge of computers to becoming ‘Confident Citizens’ able to access online services and carry out online transactions. This relates to another priority of the project which is to address the lack of skills shortages amongst unemployed people, including women returners.
We have already been very successful in attracting a wide section of the community, particularly from these groups as well as black and minority ethnic groups, older people, lone parents and people with disabilities by offering a broad range of classes and services. These include Computing for Absolute Beginners, Silver Surfers for the over 50’s and a wide range of Workshops aimed at encouraging people to use online services and self sufficiency. The Centre is comprehensively equipped with specialist disability hardware and software.
The overall aim of the ICT project is to maximise opportunities of access to education and e-government services and bring about long-term improvements in local people’s lives and life chances by increasing opportunities to participate in the labour market.
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