It builds on the I-Reach project, a digital literacy project, also funded by WCIT and run by Thames Reach, which has so far helped 54 people access one-to-one support, and helped ten of those individuals to secure an IT qualification, as well as providing social media training and Wi-Fi access across seven Thames Reach properties.
WCIT has committed £16,000 in funding towards the salary of a Digital Skills Support Worker who will act as an organisational lead to help Thames Reach service users develop specific IT pathways into education and employment. This has been complemented by further funding from Southwark Council of £22,500 towards the project.
In addition to a further £1,800 of previously agreed funding for the second year of I-Reach, WCIT will also provide £5,000 towards the provision of interactive whiteboards to improve the delivery of IT accredited training at Thames Reach and £1,200 to support the roll-out of the IT Fundamentals training scheme at the charity, to be delivered by London-based Just IT Training and Recruitment Ltd.
Jeremy Swain, CEO of Thames Reach said:
“Our service users are increasingly ambitious to raise their levels of IT literacy in a bid to find work. Our latest survey revealed that nearly half (46%) said they needed more support around information technology to meet their needs and that 70% want to work but just 5% are in employment. We are struggling to meet this demand with our current staffing levels and skillsets. That’s where the input of WCIT has proved invaluable.”
WCIT is open to approaches from any charitable organisation interested in its support for a relevant project. Applicants can contact the WCIT either through the organisation’s website, www.wcit.org.uk, or by emailing its charity coordinator, Eleanor MacGregor, at email@example.com. All applications for grants are looked at on a quarterly basis: in March, June, September and December.
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