The Wise Group’s Skills and Training team have now delivered their first online accredited course, tackling digital inequality barriers for a group of 8 unemployed learners.
It is well documented that the impact of Scotland’s digital divide is felt across society and that there are many communities across the country who are struggling to access vital services since their move to ‘online’ in response to the current health crisis (see our recent ‘Foundations support Wise group’s digital inclusion drive‘ article for background).
Using technology as an enabler and through strategic partnerships, the Wise Group are leading the way in identifying our customer’s needs and securing available funding to tackle digital inequality.
Partnering with Foundation Scotland through their Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund, has meant the Wise Group has been able to embark on potentially game changing technology provision to some areas of greatest digital inequality in Scotland and NE England. Through such funding, we purchased a bank of laptops which can be loaned to learners who would otherwise have no access to IT, or the internet, at home.
The Wise Group’s Skills and Training team have now delivered their first online accredited CSCS (construction) course to a group of eight unemployed learners.
The CSCS Card, an entry-level health and safety focussed course which gives those who complete the course the required accreditation to work on a construction site, is usually delivered in a classroom setting by Health and Safety professionals. It is followed by an official test previously sat within a strict exam-like environment within an accredited testing centre.
Working in collaboration with REHIS, the awarding body, the Wise Group were able to conduct the CSCS test individually via Microsoft Teams.
All eight of our learners achieved their Health & Safety qualification, and are looking forward to putting this to good use as soon as they can.
One proud CSCS card holder said of the training:
“The quality of the training was good, and will allow me to work on construction sites as well as being the 1st step in a career change to Health & Safety. It was especially good to get the use of a laptop to access the training.”
Another of our customers said:
“The overall quality of the training was excellent and will allow me to get back to work on construction sites as my CSCS card has expired. The length of the course was very good, and the breaks in between the sessions really helped. The support provided by Brian before and during the training was very good too.”
This is just the start of what we hope to offer our customers across Scotland and the North East of England. The Wise Group delivers Programmes on behalf of a range of organisations and sectors. Since the onset of the crisis we have maintained a proactive approach to our Programme Partnerships, identifying new and more efficient ways of delivering our programmes over time.
Evelyn Rimmer, our Strategic Development Lead for Employment Services and Skills said, “The lack of digital access for customers has undoubtedly been the most significant challenge to overcome for some of our service provision. Working in collaboration with likeminded partners and funding organisations, and being in a position to forge a more flexible approach to learning for our customers is a really exciting development, and something we intend to do more of.”
The Wise Group are ready and open to all possible collaborations with like-minded organisations and funders across the UK, to bring digital support to those hardest to reach in our communities.
If your organisation has an interest in supporting this work, or is innovating other ways in which to challenge the digital divide, we would love to hear from you.