Graham starts computer lessons after mining career ends – #povertyinwales
Graham Jones was approaching his 60th birthday, having been made redundant from a local mining company. In fact, he’d been in the mining industry for more than 40 years.
It soon became clear to Graham that he needed to be online in order to find a new job and he was determined to get back into work as soon as possible. He left mining with no real computer experience. His last position, in an office, did involve computer use but everything was set up for him and the interaction Graham had with the technology was not demanding.
He found out that his local job club, at Maerdy Library, offered free, open computer drop-in sessions. This facility was made available through a combination of the local Library Service and Big Click RCT – a Communities 2.0 initiative set up to help people in Rhondda Cynon Taff to do more with digital technologies, which included support to people to increase their skills as they looked for work.
Graham spoke to Communities 2.0 as he attended his first computer lesson. He thought the sessions would be helpful to him: “Since being made redundant, I’ve applied for jobs but people have asked for computer skills and for me to write my own CV. I find this difficult but I understand that I need to have these skills and to use a computer to find work and use in a job itself. It’s a challenge I’m willing to take up”.
During his first session, a member of library staff helped Graham to open Microsoft Word and begin to type – Graham was, to all intents, a complete beginner. Another learner in the room was being shown how to sign up to the Universal Jobmatch website, which jobseekers now need to use to find work.
This is an example of how Communities 2.0 is supporting the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan.