Barton jobseekers can boost skills with computer lessons

Oxford Mail: Grishon Gitaua, left, with Learn 2 Earn co-ordinator Martin Ousley at the computer club for jobseekers Grishon Gitaua, left, with Learn 2 Earn co-ordinator Martin Ousley at the computer club for jobseekers

FREE computer lessons are being offered to Barton jobseekers to help boost their CVs.

Barton Community Association has begun offering the Wednesday evening classes as part of its Learn 2 Earn scheme.

The open sessions started on Wednesday, May 7, at the Barton Neighbourhood Centre in Underhill Circus. So far up to 10 people have taken up the lessons.

Martin Ousley, Learn 2 Earn coordinator, said: “The aim of the project is to provide expert support services for people looking to improve their employment prospects or interested in business start-up.

“The service also extends to people who are in work but under employed or on low incomes and looking to improve their job prospects.”

Rodney Shepherd, who runs a job club at the neighbourhood centre for the long-term unemployed, said many job hunters did not know how to use computers and were missing out on opportunities because of it.

He said: “We are getting people who are unemployed but who don’t have the computer skills to do job searches and to register online with the job club.

“So the lessons are fulfilling a very real need.”

He added: “It is all part of our funding and our budget to help people become more aware and educated.

“It is accepting the fact that people are needing more and more computer skills theses days for them to be able to research, look for jobs and for day-to-day things.”

The lessons are being run in partnership with the City Of Oxford College and are funded with help from Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

Community association secretary Sue Holden said the lessons would be vital for some people on the estate.

She said: “It is something that we have been looking to establish for a long time.

“You are always going to need basic IT so it is critical that people even have the basic skills just to move forward. When doing job searches now you need to be able to use a computer.

“It is nice also to be working in partnership with the college. With the college on board they (jobseekers) can then be signposted to other things.”

Anyone interested in the lessons should call the Barton Neighbourhood Centre on 01865 761987 or email martin@bartoncommunityassociation.com

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