The Pallion Action Group plans to hold computer classes for beginners, covering topics from word processing to using emails efficiently.
The community group has worked since 1993 to provide more opportunities and improve the quality of life in the Pallion area of Sunderland. Now it is stepping into the digital age to assist those struggling with the devices some may take for granted.
The courses, each of which will run for one week over two mornings, are focusing on skills for “absolute beginners”. Participants will be introduced to word processing, learn the basics of emails, and how to use the internet for job searches.
The Pallion Action Group already offers a free computer suite for all ages to assist in researching for jobs, writing letters or doing homework. These facilities allow the group to hold learning concepts for computer skills as well as literacy and numeracy.
Karen Wood, community manager of the Pallion Action Group, said: “PAG prides itself on offering a diverse range of educational opportunities for the whole community, young, old and those in the middle.”
A 2012 government study found that of the people who have access to the internet, 43 per cent search for employment opportunities. The same report found that people are more likely to describe their computer abilities in a negative way if they left school at the age of 16, or if they are over the age of 55. Lena Baylee, who is in her 40s, lives in Millfield and recently started using her laptop to search for jobs.
She said: “I only recently started using gadgets and since I was made redundant I look on websites like Jobsite and Indeed for part-time work.
“I would find it very difficult today if I did not have a laptop. I would say to people who do not have good computer skills to learn how to Google or create a CV. A lot of older people like myself never learned how to use computers and have been left behind. It is not often you see community support groups offering courses to learn.”
For more information on the courses available, which run for one week over two mornings, ring Karen or Alan on 0191 514 2011.