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Leading South Wales Housing Association Lifts Job Hopes with Digital Training


Coastal Housing Group has teamed up with Afan Valley Communities First’s Lift Project to develop the digital skills of individuals from one of the most deprived areas of the country in a bid to help them get back into work.

The South Wales based housing association is offering ‘IT for work’ training sessions to job seekers within the Afan Valley, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in Wales. The digital enabling course is part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Lift Project’, designed to support those who could benefit most from training and employment opportunities.

Taking place over five weeks, the course will equip attendees with the basic digital skills needed for the work environment and will enlist the help of young unemployed volunteers to run the sessions, providing them with valuable skills and work experience to add to their own CVs.

Nigel Lewis, digital inclusion officer at Coastal, will lead the sessions. Speaking of the courses, he said:

“Digital literacy is becoming an increasingly key requirement for the vast majority of jobs which means that a basic knowledge of IT is now essential for job seekers of today. Not only this, but it is now common for a job to only be advertised online and so without basic digital skills, individuals will struggle to both find employment opportunities and apply for these.

“Digital inclusion and supporting people back into work is very important to Coastal. We are committed to helping tenants and members of the surrounding community develop both personally and professionally and the Lift Scheme epitomises these very principles. We are proud to be involved in such a great project”.

Vicky Prosser, Lift Project Manager at Afan Communities First said:

“The Lift Project supports individuals who have spent more than six months out of work and who face the greatest barriers to becoming employed; helping them to overcome these challenges and develop their skillset to increase their chances of securing employment.

“Digital skills have been identified as a key area for development within the Afan Valley region and Coastal’s digital inclusion course has been extremely beneficial. Many of the attendees have had no previous experience of using computers but recognise the importance of having IT skills when searching for jobs and entering employment. The sessions provide participants with invaluable skills, boosting their confidence and motivation to return to work or gain additional qualifications to help them find work.  We’re extremely thankful to Coastal for their involvement and support of the scheme.”

The collaboration between Coastal and Afan Valley Communities First came about following a meeting at the ‘Get Neath Port Talbot Online’ programme; an initiative designed to provide digital inclusion support for members of the community in Neath Port Talbot.

For more information on the Lift Project and available support, please contact Vicky Prosser at [email protected]