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- In Practice
Digital Inclusion for Young People
ORGANISATION: Changing Lives
A digital inclusion project so all their young people can build and develop their IT skills, as this is a vital life skill in the modern world.
Eslington House is a young people's support provider. It currently houses 20 people, aged 16-25, male and female. The provision promotes independent living, aiming to have young people confident enough with their living skills to be able to move into their own home and live independently.
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 claims - to name only a few, all have to be done online now.
Young people need to be 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 will buy 4 laptop computers, accessible at all times for their young people to use. These 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 will have a good internet connection in order to send emails, send applications, and search for job and training opportunities.
One bespoke workstation will be built in each of their 4 houses. 4-8 modern computer chairs will be bought for these work stations so young people can sit comfortably and safely whilst doing these activities. A Wi-Fi connection strong enough to cope with the usage from all four laptops will be installed.
The digital inclusion project will include the following:
- 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.
- Check JSA and Universal credit tasks online, and complete them on a daily basis
- All claimants document online what they have done to look for work
- Complete course work online for college and further education courses
- Outside agencies such as sporting chance and Generation North East can source relevant information around healthy lifestyle, training courses etc. with clients there and then, instead of having to wait until they return to the office.
- All service users to be empowered to take ownership of their future, rather than relying on staff and others to walk them through step by step, managing their own time and working independently.