Some of our adult learners are getting laptops to enable them to take online learning courses.
More than 200 devices are being distributed and training is being provided where necessary to make sure people can get online and start learning as quickly as possible.
The emphasis is on helping adults to improve skills for work and on courses for people who have become unemployed. There has also been a demand for ICT and digital skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and maths and English courses.
Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning team has secured funding for the laptops from the GLA’s COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Support Fund. Now we are working closely with local community groups to get them to the people that need them most.
One of the organisations who has benefitted from the laptop loan scheme is the Battersea-based community organisation Katherine Low Settlement (KLS). Fran Jukes from KLS said many ESOL students previously attended online classes using a smartphone, while others had no online presence at all.
“We have set up Wandsworth Digital - an initiative to make Wandsworth the most digitally inclusive borough in London. A core partner in our plans is Wandsworth Council. Lifelong Learning have supported us to deliver IT classes for beginners and have been very flexible in how we are able to deliver this under current constraints.
“Now that Wandsworth Council has made a very generous donation of 10 laptops to KLS ESOL, all of our Maths students will now be able to access their classes on a computer.”
Cllr Will Sweet, cabinet member for education, said “Over the past year the council’s been working to ensure all learners have access to the equipment and data they need. This latest project will help more people access education when they need it – whatever their age.”
Cllr Aled Richards-Jones, cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment, said: “The council’s Lifelong Learning team has done a fantastic job keeping people learning at a time when, more than ever, people need to ensure that their skills are up to scratch.
“I’m delighted that we have secured these 200 laptops, which will mean that people won’t miss out on opportunities because they lack digital equipment or skills. I would encourage everyone to take a look at the wide range of free courses on offer from Lifelong Learning to see if there’s one that could help them.”
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