Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Archive for the ‘co-operatives’ Category

Mae Sadwrn Cymdeithasol newydd dyfu!

leave a comment »

Derek Walker

Derek Walker

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru Prif Weithredwr, Derek Walker, blogiau am y digwyddiad Dydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol sydd ar y gweill ar 13 Medi. Mae Dydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn anelu at roi hwb i nifer y bobl sy’n prynu gan fentrau cymdeithasol.

Yn dilyn llwyddiant ein hymgyrchoedd menter gymdeithasol Sadwrn Cymdeithasol a Cefnogi’r Cyfan y llynedd, mae’n bleser gennym gyhoeddi bod Menter Gymdeithasol y DU yn ymestyn yr ymgyrch Sadwrn Cymdeithasol ar draws y DU yn 2014!

Rydym wrth ein boddau bod y corff cynrychioli cenedlaethol dros Fentrau Cymdeithasol y Deyrnas Unedig wedi mabwysiadu ein hymgyrch ac y bydd ein dull arloesol yn cael ei hyrwyddo ledled Lloegr a’r Alban yn ogystal â Chymru!

Bydd y Sadwrn Cymdeithasol cenedlaethol cyntaf yn y DU yn digwydd ddydd Sadwrn 13 Medi 2014.

Mae Arolwg Menter Gymdeithasol y DU 2013 o Gyflwr Mentrau Cymdeithasol y DU yn dangos bod mentrau cymdeithasol yn masnachu’n bennaf â’r cyhoedd ond er bod tri chwarter o’r cyhoedd yn cefnogi’r syniad o fentrau cymdeithasol, mae ymwybyddiaeth ohonynt yn parhau’n isel.

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday logo

Bydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn ceisio codi ymwybyddiaeth o fentrau cymdeithasol ac yn annog prynwyr i ‘brynu’n gymdeithasol’. Mae’n gyfle i’r sector ‘greu sŵn’ ac yn llwyfan i fentrau cymdeithasol brynu a hyrwyddo’u cynnyrch a’u gwasanaethau. Bydd Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn cael ei gefnogi gan ymgyrch Cysylltiadau Cyhoeddus genedlaethol.

Y bwriad yw gwneud Sadwrn Cymdeithasol yn ddigwyddiad blynyddol y gall y sector adeiladu arno, a bydd yn ceisio cynnwys cynghorau lleol, Aelodau’r Cynulliad, Aelodau Seneddol, gweinidogion a busnesau. Nod y diwrnod yw rhoi hwb i grwpiau a chymunedau er mwyn codi ymwybyddiaeth o fenter gymdeithasol mewn trefi, dinasoedd a phentrefi.

Rydym yn falch o gefnogi’r Sadwrn Cymdeithasol cyntaf ar draws y DU (ond cofiwch, fan hyn y gwelsoch chi ef gyntaf)!

I gymryd rhan, ewch i: www.walescooperative.org/sadwrn-cymdeithasol-2014

Derek Walker, Prif Weithredwr, Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Written by ieuannash

August 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Social Saturday just got bigger!

leave a comment »

Derek WalkerWales Co-operative Centre Chief Executive, Derek Walker, blogs about the upcoming Social Saturday event on 13th September. Social Saturday aims to boost the number of people buying from Britain’s social enterprises.

Following our successful Social Saturday and Go Full Circle social enterprise campaigns last year, we are happy to announce that Social Enterprise UK are taking the Social Saturday campaign UK wide for 2014!

We are delighted that our campaign has been taken on by the national representative body for Social Enterprises in the United Kingdom and that our innovative approach will be promoted across England and Scotland as well as across Wales!

The first UK national Social Saturday will take place on Saturday 13th September 2014.

The 2013 Social Enterprise UK State of Social Enterprise Survey shows that social enterprises primarily trade with the general public, but whilst three quarters of the public support the idea of social enterprise, awareness of social enterprises remains low.

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday logo

Social Saturday will seek to raise awareness of social enterprises and encourage consumers to ‘buy social’. It is an opportunity for the sector to ‘make some noise’ and a platform for social enterprises to sell and promote their products and services. Social Saturday will be supported by a national PR campaign.

It is intended that Social Saturday will become an annual ‘event’ on which the sector can build, and it will seek to engage local councils, AMs, MPs, ministers and business. The day aims to mobilise groups and communities to raise awareness of social enterprise within towns, cities and villages.

We are proud to support the first UK wide Social Saturday (but remember, you saw it here first)!

To get involved, please visit: www.walescooperative.org/social-saturday-2014
Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre

 

Written by ieuannash

August 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Co-operative working in Bron Afon

leave a comment »

We’ve received a guest blog post from Duncan Forbes, Chief Executive of Bron Afon Housing, looking at how co-operation runs through his organisation and how they’re currently working with young people:

“A group of young people are seeing a building being transformed into starter flats, following the spark of an idea they had three years ago.

Bron Afon’s Youth Forum has worked together to give us the best possible advice on meeting the needs of housing for young people.

After all, who else is best placed to solve the housing problem for young people? Our work as a co-operative starts with our youngest members.  They have won awards and spoken at national events about how they organise themselves and get things done.

Suzy Sorby, a member of Afon Youth, and she said: “Due to such an interest with young people and homelessness, in 2011 Peter Mackie, a Cardiff university lecturer attended one of our youth forums and said ‘By 2020, housing for young people will be extremely limited’. This is where the seed was planted.”

Suzy Sorby with Afon Youth

Suzy Sorby with Afon Youth

Three years later and a lot of research and advice from the group has led to our decision not to demolish an unused building, but instead convert it into eight starter flats. They told us there’s a gap for young people living on their own for the first time, to get support if they needed it.

We have set up Own 2 Feet Living to follow this up and enable young people to live independently, in affordable rented accommodation.

They also wanted young people to learn construction skills so eight volunteers are spending a day a week on the building site, being mentored one-to-one by our trade staff.

They will come away with the experience  of working on a building site through courses such as ‘asbestos awareness’ and ‘working from heights’ and be ready to take the standard qualification needed to work in construction.

Bron Afon TyRosserYoungPeopleTy Cyfle will open later this year for young people who are in work, education, volunteering or training.

Bron Afon’s approach to mutualism and working as a co-operative on Own 2 Feet has been featured in this national report, The Enabling State, by the Carnegie Trust UK. That report shows that communities can be transformed by organisations being the facilitators and not the leaders on decisions.

Young people have taken the lead with this initiative and provide each other with mutual support, facilitated by the work of our skilled youth team and our volunteers. Working in this way, the group has dramatically changed the lives and life chances of many of its members for the better, including young people who have previously fallen down the gaps between other support and care services, which is referred to in the report as the ‘disadvantaged minority’.

If you want to find out more about our Youth Forum’s approach to co-operative working please let me know.”

 

Written by MarkWalesCooperative

August 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

Grwpiau anabl: cyllid yn dod i ben ar gyfer cymorth cynhwysiant digidol

leave a comment »

Yr wythnos hon, mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru wedi cyhoeddi “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, papur polisi sy’n archwilio effaith allgáu digidol ar bobl yng Nghymru ac yn dadlau dros brosiect cynhwysiant digidol penodol a pharhaus. Heddiw rydym yn edrych ar sut y mae’r gwaith presennol yng Nghymru yn helpu i wneud cynhwysiant digidol yn hygyrch.
Mae Cymunedau 2.0 wedi datblygu amrywiaeth o strategaethau i ymgysylltu â phobl. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys cynnal sesiynau galw i mewn “Dyddiau Gwener Digidol” mewn llyfrgelloedd, a gweithio gydag aelodau grwpiau cymunedol trwy ddefnyddio “bachyn” penodol i ennyn eu diddordeb neu roi hyder iddynt. Er bod y bwriad yr un peth, sef rhoi’r sgiliau digidol y mae eu hangen ar bobl i drawsnewid eu bywydau, mae angen i’r pwynt cychwynnol fod yn wahanol ar gyfer pobl unigol.
Mae’r rhaglen Cymunedau 2.0 a oedd yn derbyn cymorth gan Lywodraeth Cymru wedi datblygu arbenigedd mewn gwahaniaethu cymorth cynhwysiant digidol yn ôl gallu cleientiaid, ac mewn cefnogi pobl sy’n defnyddio technoleg gynorthwyol. Mae hyn yn cynnwys offer a dyfeisiau i helpu pobl a chanddynt broblemau â swyddogaethau gwybyddol, synhwyraidd a chorfforol.
Mae cysylltiadau cryf rhwng anabledd, tlodi a sgiliau/cyflogaeth isel, sy’n golygu bod
dyfnder allgáu digidol i’r rheini a chanddynt anableddau yn gyffredinol yn llawer mwy na’r dyfnder ar gyfer y boblogaeth
ehangach. Mae’r Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol wedi dweud bod pobl anabl dair gwaith yn llai tebygol o fynd ar-lein na phobl heb anabledd.
Mae aelodau Clwb Byddar Bargoed wedi bod yn dysgu sgiliau digidol newydd trwy brosiect Dewch Ar-lein Caerffili. Gwnaeth y sesiwn flasu gyntaf, a ddarparwyd gan Swyddog Allgymorth Digidol ar y cyd â chyfieithydd Iaith Arwyddion Prydain, addysgu aelodau’r grŵp sut i ddefnyddio Skype ac o ganlyniad i ddangos sut i sgwrsio dros fideo, cafodd un cwpl eu sgwrs gyntaf erioed o ystafelloedd gwahanol.
Roedd y sesiynau hefyd yn galluogi aelodau’r clwb i ddod i arfer â dyfeisiau symudol, gan gynyddu’u hyder o ran defnyddio iPads yn ogystal â chyfrifiaduron. Cafodd y dosbarthiadau dderbyniad da, gyda’r aelodau’n defnyddio’u sgiliau newydd i gadw mewn cysylltiad â’i gilydd rhwng cyfarfodydd, ac roedd hyn yn eu helpu i gynyddu’u cynhwysiant cymdeithasol ac annibyniaeth barhaus.
Dywedodd Swyddog Allgymorth Digidol y grŵp, “Dyma’r gyfres fwyaf gwerth chweil o sesiynau rydw i erioed wedi’u darparu. Ymatebodd aelodau Clwb Byddar Bargoed yn frwdfrydig iawn i’r gwaith a wnaethom â Skype ac mae’r dechnoleg wedi trawsnewid y ffordd y gallant gyfathrebu â’i gilydd. Cyn Skype, roedd yr aelodau’n dibynnu ar negeseuon testun i gadw mewn cysylltiad, ond nawr gallant gyfathrebu’n fwy naturiol ac yn rhydd trwy Iaith Arwyddion Prydain, diolch i agwedd weledol sydd gan Skype i’w chynnig.”
Mae’n waith hyfryd a chyfoethog iawn ond mae’r arian sy’n ei wneud yn bosibl yn dod i ben. Os ydym am i bobl anabl fwynhau buddion bod ar-lein mae’n rhaid i’r gwaith hwn barhau. Mae angen rhaglen cynhwysiant digidol benodol ar Gymru.

Written by cathewalescoop

July 18, 2014 at 8:01 am

Posted in co-operatives

Disability groups: funding running out for digital inclusion support

leave a comment »

The Wales Co-operative Centre has published “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, a policy paper that examines the impact of digital exclusion on people in Wales and argues for a continuing, specific digital inclusion project.  Today we look at how current work in Wales helps make digital inclusion accessible.

Communities 2.0 has developed a range of strategies to engage people.  These include running “Digital Fridays” drop in sessions in libraries, and working with community group members using a particular “hook” to get them interested or give them confidence.  The aim may be the same, to give people the digital skills needed to transform their lives, but the starting point needs to be different to suit individual people.

The Welsh Government backed Communities 2.0 programme has developed expertise in differentiating digital inclusion support according to the abilities of clients, and in supporting people who use assistive technology.  This includes equipment and devices to help people who have problems with physical, sensory and cognitive functions.

There are strong links between disability, poverty and low skills/employment, which means that the depth of digital exclusion for those with disabilities is generally much greater than for the wider population. The Office for National Statistics has said that disabled people are three times less likely to get online than people without disability.

Members of Bargoed Deaf Club have been learning new digital skills through the Get Caerphilly Online project.  The first taster session, which was delivered by a Digital Outreach Officer in tandem with a British Sign Language translator, taught members of the group how to use Skype and the demonstration of the video chat function allowed one couple to have their first ever conversation from separate rooms.

The sessions also allowed club members to get to grips with mobile devices, increasing their confidence in using iPads as well as computers. The classes were received well, with members using their new skills to keep in touch with each other in between meetings, and which helped them increase their social inclusion and continued independence.

The group’s Digital Outreach Officer commented, “This set of sessions have been some of the most rewarding I’ve ever delivered. The members of Bargoed Deaf Club responded very enthusiastically to the work we did with Skype and the technology has revolutionised the way that they are able to communicate with one another. Before Skype, the members were reliant on text message to keep in touch, but now they are able to communicate much more naturally and freely through British Sign Language, thanks to the visual aspect that Skype offers.”

This is wonderful, enriching work but the funding that makes it happen is running out.  If we want disabled people to enjoy the benefits of being online this work must continue.  Wales needs a dedicated national digital inclusion programme.

Written by MarkWalesCooperative

July 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in co-operatives

Closing the Jaws of Doom: co-operative approaches to public service delivery

leave a comment »

The “Jaws of Doom” describes the shape you see if you plot a graph showing increasing demand for public services (driven by an ageing population) and reducing public sector resources to meet that need.  It’s this tension that is driving severe cuts in some areas and market commercialisation in other parts of the UK.

That was the background to today’s “Reshaping Services with the Public” conference held by the Wales Audit Office in collaboration with partners including the Wales Co-operative Centre.  The conference was about changing the relationship between those who deliver and people who use services.

The premise is that too many public services are still delivered from the perspective of single service deliverers. The leads to citizens experiencing multiple, fragmented approaches that can result in contradictory and conflicting interventions, poor outcomes for the service user, waste of valuable resources and poor value for money.

An example of a 'jaws of doom' graph

An example of a ‘jaws of doom’ graph

Keynote speaker Professor Tony Bovaird from Birmingham University argued for a radical change in the way we co-commission, co-design, co-deliver and co-assess public services.  We need to centre services on the user, gain their consent and harness their time and the time of others in the community to complement resources paid for from public money.

This sounds a lot like a co-operative model to us.  The Wales Co-operative Centre supports co-operatives and social businesses, and that includes assisting local councils who are considering externalising services to new social businesses.  We help ensure that the perspectives of service users and staff are hard-wired into the governance structures of new enterprises.  We support business plans that stack up financially but are driven by the needs of service users and by broader social good.  This is in sharp contrast to privatisation approaches, where service users can be objectified, and ineffective delivery models can be contractually perpetuated.

And at the Wales Co-operative Centre we try to practice what we preach.  We deliver the Wales Government’s Communities 2.0 digital inclusion programme, and the volunteering model used is a lovely model of co-delivery.  The people the programme helps can themselves become volunteers and influence what the programme delivers.  Not only does this mean value for money but it ensures that the programme stays fresh and relevant to the needs of people who are digitally excluded.

Today’s conference marks the beginning of a long journey for public services in Wales.  If we keep with us co-operative values and explore co-operative models of service delivery, we would be well on our way.

Written by Dave Brown

July 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Cynhwysiant digidol: pobl hŷn yn llai arunig, ond y cymorth yn dod i ben?

leave a comment »

Yr wythnos hon, mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru wedi cyhoeddi “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, papur polisi sy’n archwilio effaith allgáu digidol ar bobl yng Nghymru ac yn dadlau dros brosiect cynhwysiant digidol penodol a pharhaus. Heddiw rydym yn edrych ar sut y mae pobl sydd wedi’u hallgáu’n ddigidol yn gallu bod yn arunig, a sut y daeth Victor ar-lein a goresgyn ei arunigrwydd.
Y dyddiau hyn, mae mwy a mwy o bobl yn defnyddio cyfryngau cymdeithasu i gefnogi a datblygu perthnasoedd â theulu a ffrindiau. Os na all pobl ddefnyddio’r Rhyngrwyd maent wedi’u hynysu. Ni fyddant yn gweld newyddion na lluniau a byddant yn cael eu heithrio o fywydau bob dydd rhai o’u teulu neu’u grwpiau cymdeithasol.
Mae pobl hŷn, pobl anabl a gofalwyr yn anghyfartal o debygol o gael eu hallgáu’n ddigidol. Gallant hefyd ei chael yn anoddach yn gorfforol i fynd allan i weld pobl wyneb yn wyneb. Dengys ymchwil bod ynysu yn gysylltiedig ag i iechyd gwael a marwolaeth mewn pobl hŷn: gall cynhwysiant digidol roi bywyd gwell a hirach i bobl.
Mae Victor yn dechnegydd sydd wedi ymddeol a ddatblygodd ei sgiliau cyfrifiadurol trwy gyrsiau a oedd yn cael eu cynnal gan Deudraeth Cyf yn rhan o Brosiect Gwynedd Ddigidol.
Mae ganddo ddiddordeb erioed mewn casglu hen ffotograffau a chofnodi hanes lleol. Roedd yn cyfathrebu’n rheolaidd â ffrindiau a chyd-gasglwyr dros y ffôn ac yn anfon a chael copïau o hen ffotograffau trwy’r post. Ers iddo gael ei gyflwyno i gyfrifiaduron gall bellach yrru a derbyn negeseuon, lluniau a dogfennau dros e-bost ac mae’n gallu defnyddio’r Rhyngrwyd i ymchwilio i’w hoff ddiddordeb. Mae hefyd yn defnyddio Skype yn rheolaidd i gadw mewn cysylltiad â theulu a ffrindiau.
Dywedodd Victor, “Mae’r cyrsiau hyn wedi fy ngalluogi i gyfathrebu â ffrindiau a theulu dros y byd mewn ffordd na feddyliais y byddai byth yn bosibl.
“Cyn hyn, roedd y gost o ffonio a phostio’n golygu y bu’n rhaid i mi gyfyngu sut a phryd roeddwn yn cyfathrebu â’m ffrindiau, ond trwy ddefnyddio e-bost a Skype mae’r gost fwy neu lai wedi diflannu. Ar ôl y cyrsiau, prynais liniadur a gosod band eang gartref. Mae’n rhywbeth y meddyliais na fyswn byth yn ei wneud ond mae wedi gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr i’m bywyd a byddwn yn ei argymell i bawb.”
Mae mynd ar-lein wedi newid bywyd Victor yn llwyr, ond mae degau o filoedd rhagor fel ef. Os yw rhagor o bobl hŷn am oresgyn cael eu hynysu a byw bywydau cyfoethocach ac iachach o ganlyniad, mae angen i gymorth cynhwysiant digidol barhau.

Written by cathewalescoop

July 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

Posted in co-operatives

Digital inclusion: older people less isolated, but support needs to continue!

leave a comment »

The Wales Co-operative Centre has published “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, a policy paper that examines the impact of digital exclusion on people in Wales and argues for a continuing, specific digital inclusion project.  Today we look at how people who are digitally excluded can be isolated, and how Victor got online and overcame his isolation.

These days, more and more people are using social media to support and develop relationships with family and friends.  If people can’t use the Internet then they are isolated.  They won’t see news or photos and they will be excluded from the daily lives of some of their family or social groups.

Older people, disabled people and carers are disproportionately likely to be digitally excluded.  They may also find it physically harder to get out and see people face to face.  Research shows that isolation is associated with poor health and mortality in older people: digital inclusion can give people a better, longer life.

Victor is a retired technician who acquired his computer skills from courses run by Deudraeth Cyf as part of the Digidol Gwynedd Project.

He has always been interested in collecting old photographs and recording local history. He regularly communicated with friends and fellow collectors by phone and sent and received copies of old photographs by mail.  Since he was introduced to computers he is now able to send and receive messages, photos and documents by e-mail and can use the Internet carry out research on his favourite hobby. He is also a regular user of Skype which he uses to keep in touch with family and friends.

Victor says, “These courses have allowed me to communicate with friends and family all over the world, in a way that I never thought possible.

“Prior to this, the cost of telephoning and postage meant I had to limit how and when I communicated with my friends, but by using e-mail and Skype that cost has virtually disappeared. Following the courses, I bought a laptop and installed broadband at home. It is something I thought I would never do but it has made a great difference to my life and I would recommend it to everyone.”

Getting online has literally transformed Victor’s life, but there are tens of thousands more like him.  If more older people are to overcome isolation and live richer and healthier lives as a result, digital inclusion support needs to continue.

Written by MarkWalesCooperative

July 16, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in co-operatives

Allgáu digidol: cymorth i geiswyr gwaith yn dod i ben?

leave a comment »

Yr wythnos hon, mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru wedi cyhoeddi “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, papur polisi sy’n archwilio effaith allgáu digidol ar bobl yng Nghymru ac yn dadlau dros brosiect cynhwysiant digidol penodol a pharhaus. Heddiw rydym yn edrych ar sut y mae angen sgiliau digidol ar geiswyr gwaith i ganfod gwaith.
Ar ôl colli ei swydd wedi 10 mlynedd fel labrwr/gyrrwr, roedd Michael yn ei chael yn anodd canfod gwaith am dair blynedd. Gan nad oedd yn defnyddio cyfrifiaduron yn rheolaidd, roedd newidiadau i’r Lwfans Ceisio Gwaith, a oedd yn ei wneud yn ofynnol i geiswyr gwaith chwilio am waith ar-lein, yn rhwystredig. Ar ôl clywed am sesiynau galw i mewn a oedd yn cael eu cynnal gan Dewch Ar-lein Pen-y-bont, dechreuodd Michael fynychu i wella’i sgiliau cyfrifiadurol. Er bod gan Michael rhywfaint o brofiad blaenorol o ddefnyddio cyfrifiaduron, roedd ei hyder yn isel iawn ac roedd yn ei chael yn anodd defnyddio gwefan Universal Jobsmatch yn effeithiol.
Trwy fynd i’r sesiynau, dysgodd Michael sgiliau sydd wedi’i alluogi i ymgeisio am waith yn annibynnol ac yn hyderus. Gall bellach ddefnyddio nodweddion gwefan Universal Jobsmatch, a llenwi ceisiadau ar-lein. Yn ogystal â’r sgiliau y mae wedi’u dysgu trwy Dewch Ar-lein Pen-y-bont, mae Michael hefyd wedi’i ysbrydoli i gynyddu’i wybodaeth ymhellach, mae wedi cofrestru ar gwrs Learndirect mewn Cyfrifiadura Sylfaenol gan ychwanegu at ei gymwysterau.
Dywed Michael mai’r prif fudd y mae wedi’i feithrin o’r sesiynau yw llawer mwy o hyder. Er ei fod yn parhau’n ddi-waith ar hyn o bryd, mae’n optimistaidd y bydd ei sgiliau newydd yn ei helpu i gael gwaith yn y dyfodol agos.
Felly, mae pobl nad ydynt yn gallu defnyddio’r Rhyngrwyd i ganfod swyddi gwag, nad ydynt yn gallu defnyddio prosesydd geiriau i greu CV, ac nad oes ganddynt y sgiliau TGCh sylfaenol i’w defnyddio yn y gwaith yn ei chael lawer yn anoddach canfod swydd. Dylai fod gan bobl fel Michael yr hawl i gael cymorth cynhwysiant digidol hygyrch o safon uchel. Os ydym am gael Cymru yn ôl mewn gwaith mae angen i’r cymorth hwn barhau. Mae angen rhaglen cynhwysiant digidol benodol a pharhaus ar Gymru.

Written by cathewalescoop

July 14, 2014 at 8:01 am

Posted in co-operatives

Digital exclusion: support for jobseekers needs to continue

leave a comment »

The Wales Co-operative Centre has published “Digital Inclusion: Stronger Communities”, a policy paper that examines the impact of digital exclusion on people in Wales and argues for a continuing, specific digital inclusion project.  Today we look at how jobseekers need digital skills to find work.

After being made redundant from his job of 10 years as a labourer/driver, Michael struggled to find employment for three years.  As someone who didn’t use a computer on a regular basis, he found the changes to Jobseeker’s Allowance, which requires jobseekers to look for work online, frustrating. After hearing about drop-in sessions run by Get Bridgend Online, Michael began attending to improve his computer skills. While Michael had some previous experience of using computers, his confidence was extremely low as he struggled to use the Universal Jobsmatch website effectively.

Through attending the sessions, Michael acquired the skills which have enabled him to apply for work independently and confidently. He can now utilise the features of the Universal Jobsmatch website, and complete online applications.  In addition to the skills he has learnt through Get Bridgend Online, Michael has also become inspired to progress his knowledge further, signing up for a Learndirect course in Basic Computing, adding to his qualifications.

Michael says the main benefit he has gained from the sessions is a big boost in confidence. While he currently remains unemployed, he is optimistic that his new skills will help him secure work in the near future.

So, people who are unable to use the Internet to find vacancies, who are unable to use a word processor to construct a CV, and who lack the basic ICT skills to function in work will find it considerably harder to find a job.  People like Michael should be entitled to accessible, high quality digital inclusion support.  If we are to get Wales back to work this support needs to continue.  Wales needs a continuing specific digital inclusion programme.

 

Written by MarkWalesCooperative

July 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in co-operatives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: