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Digital Inclusion for Young People
We aim for all of our young people to have basic IT skills as it is a vital life skill in the modern world.
We would like them to be able to hold job club sessions with the employability team. This will involve creating CVs, covering letters, and sourcing what is available e.g. courses, training, recruitment days etc.
It will be important to be able to check JSA and Universal credit tasks online, and complete them on a daily basis.
All claimants have to be able to document online what they have done to look for work, and this must add up to 35hrs per week.
Also, it will be important to be able to complete course work online for college and further education courses.
Outside agencies who work with the young people such as sporting chance and Generation North East will be able to source relevant information around healthy lifestyle, training courses etc. with the clients there and then, instead of having to wait until they return to the office.
We aim for all service users to be able to take ownership of their future, rather than relying on staff and others to walk them through step by step, they can manage their own time, and work independently.
We would like to have one bespoke workstation built in each of our four houses, these will have a section cut out enabling the laptop to sit flush on the surface so they cannot be dropped or knocked off. We would like 4-8 modern computer chairs for these work stations so our young people can sit comfortably and safely while doing these activities. Importantly, we would hope to have a Wi-Fi connection strong enough to be able to cope with the usage from all four laptops.
Eslington House is a young people’s support provider. We currently house 20 people, aged 16-25, male and female. Our provision promotes independent living with the aim to have our young people confident enough with their living skills to be able to move into their own home and live independently.
As we know, technology has become a big part of everyday life; it is a door of opportunity and knowledge to the outside world. For example - looking and applying for work and training, improving education by accessing online courses, maintaining universal claim and job seekers claim- to name only a few, all have to be done online now.
We need to ensure our young people are competent in this area to be able to survive and thrive when moving on from supported accommodation.
A major issue for people maintaining their tenancy is that they are unable to continue accessing their benefits after leaving supported living, due to lack of understanding of how the benefits system works.
Not forgetting social media; this is sometimes the only form of communication young people have if they do not have access to a mobile phone or are unable to afford top up payments etc.
Eslington house would therefore like to request the implementation of four laptop computers, which will be assessable at all times for our young people to use. They are integral for the young people to complete applications, maintain universal credit online journals (being implemented in Gateshead in October 2017, these will only be accessed via an online account). The computers would need to have a good internet connection in order to send emails, send applications, and search for job and training opportunities.