Job seekers get a chance to learn IT
A CHURCH community is offering IT lessons to job seekers with the aim of getting them back to work.
The United Reformed Church in Station Road, Burnham, has acquired six new laptops and teamed up with One Place, which provides specialist online teachers.
Two months ago, it began teaching the over 60s computer skills, which has proved very popular.
Now it has launched a six-week course to teach job hunters how to write a good CV and find what jobs are available online.
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URC minister, the Rev Dr Jon Morgan said: "We are part of the Burnham community and we want to reach out to help wherever and however we can.
"Many unemployed people don't have access to computers and therefore can't see what jobs are available and may not have the computer skills necessary in today's workplace.
"We have six laptops, Wi-Fi and specialist assistance available; we want to help in any way we can.
"We started running a group for toddlers and their mums every Tuesday and from that I realised that we have a number of job seekers in the town.
"It would be good to help, especially in a rural community like this."
The hour-long lessons for job seekers began last Friday, April 20 and start at noon.
They will be held at the same time for six weeks.
Vikkie Massey, One Place manager, said: "One Place do offer the unemployed a service, teaching people how to write CVs and use the internet but the United Reformed Church came to us and said they wanted to do more.
"This service will help people that are out on a limb. In the Dengie people have to go to Chelmsford to get support, which is a long way, but to have the service on your doorstep is really great."
Digital champion David Nower has been helping the over 60s learn new skills on the computer from writing in Word to shopping online.
He said: "I am here to help, and will show people whatever they want to learn. I think that it is especially important to know how to use the internet in a rural community, whether it is to look for a job or find online discounts to save you money."
Hilary Frost, 69, from Burnham, said: "I have got computers at home and feel a bit stupid because I can't use them.
"I want to be able to use the internet and this is proving very helpful."
Anyone wanting to take place in this scheme – there are only six places per six week course – should contact One Place on 01621 774532.
There is a nominal charge of £3 per session.
Another club for the unemployed is taking place on Thursdays at Maldon Library between 10am and noon, starting on May 3. Information on how to use a computer to help find a job will be available with the help of Next Step and Job Centre Plus.
For more information contact Corrinne Gothard at Maldon Library on 01621 853556.