9 October 2015

Get Online Week 12 to 18 October

During ‘Get Online Week’ residents without basic digital skills will be given the chance to gain access to the Internet and help with job seeking online.

 

There are 10.5 million people in the UK without the knowledge of how to access information online who are being isolated by the digital age. 

People without digital skills are disadvantaged when seeking employment and job hunting can be a major challenge. Figures from the Tinder Foundation, an organisation promoting digital inclusion, show 72 per cent of employers would not interview entry level candidates with no digital skills.

This Wednesday, 14 October, at 3.30pm a new job club initiative is being launched at Jubilee Library to help local people on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to gain online skills. The job club has been set up through joint partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council Library service, Job Centre Plus and the National Careers Service.

Cllr Emma Daniel, lead councillor for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Equalities, said: “The Libraries Service, alongside other voluntary groups in the city, has a valuable role to play in helping people gain digital skills which can improve their quality of life. Many employment, health and finance services are now readily available online. At the same time businesses and organisations often expect customers to be able to get in touch using web, app or email. Yet many people grew up without computers or couldn’t afford to buy into online devices and they are now being left behind. Knowing where to turn to learn these skills can be quite baffling because much of the information is online. Providing support in a library, a familiar and trusted place, offers people a safe starting point where they can meet skilled staff and volunteers to learn about the opportunities to be gained by developing digital skills.”

The Brighton & Hove City Council Libraries Service has been awarded £5,000 from the Tinder Libraries Digital Inclusion Fund to support the new job club project. The funding will be also be used for an associated initiative, starting at the same time, taking Internet access to the Hangleton Food bank using a 4g enabled i-pad.

Local libraries play a significant role in helping local people improve their digital skills, connect with their community and find useful information via the Internet. There are a range of initiatives underway to increase digital inclusion and encourage more people to gain online skills. Residents are encouraged to ask at their library for information on what is available locally and for their specific needs.