Thursday, 24 October 2013

Some people just need a break

Volunteer Callum secures employment
Sometimes you meet someone who you know full well has so much to give to a prospective employer that you would like to talk to them and explain why they should take this person on, Callum is one of those people.

Callum joined Get Caerphilly Online as a volunteer in December 2012 just in time for the launch of our Digital Fridays sessions in Caerphilly libraries.  As someone who was poached from “out of county” Callum’s best location was Blackwood due to a direct bus link from his home.  With excellent IT skills Callum patiently supported everyone with their digital needs who come into our busiest Digital Fridays location.

As Callum got used to other members of the team he expressed an interest in taking on additional volunteer hours in an administrative capacity to develop his experience of the workplace.  Luckily we were able to host him at our (Wales Co-operative Centre) office in Abercynon, just a short train journey up from his home.  Prompt with excellent communication, Callum was always keen to come in and help out and learn.  He blended well into the team but thinking about it I’m unsure whether he ever made a cup of tea hmmmm and did everything that was asked of him and more, trying out different designs and bringing new ideas to the table.

It was clear that if he could get interviews and be himself, which is hard for most people in interview he would soon get that break.  He never gave in and after only 8 months with us he landed his first permanent job.  While sad to see any volunteer leave that is exactly why we do it.  Volunteering is about giving someone a worthwhile experience and one that they get something from whether that is experience, the pleasure of helping others or socialising.  People like Callum deserve success; doing all they can to get on, persevering until they achieve that break.

It is also nice to keep in touch and check how things are going, this is what Callum had to say: “I'm very grateful for the voluntary opportunity I had with GCO which led to additional volunteering in the office of their partner organisation Communities 2.0. Without it I wouldn't be working in the field I've been trying to get a job in for well over a year so a huge thank you to the GCO team and to Matt for allowing me to work in the office. It was great working with everyone as they are all so friendly and I could be myself around them which I think is really important when participating in a project such as this. I will miss you all and I hope you help many more people to get online and discover the benefits and importance of technology in our ever-changing world!”

Blog post by Matthew Lloyd, Communities 2.0 ICT Broker for Caerphilly

Get IT Together - Caerphilly is a partnership between Citizens Online; BT, through their Connected Society programme; Caerphilly Council, Communities 2.0 and Get Caerphilly Online (part of Communities 2.0).

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Four million households in the UK are still not connected to the internet, according to the Office for National Statistics

In Bristol, BT and Bristol City Council and Citizens Online are working together to run the Get IT Together Programme, a community development approach to digital inclusion.

Pete Britten  an apprentice from Get It Together – Bristol shares a summary of recent research published by The Office for National Statistics.

The Office for National Statistic’s data said the majority, 59%, of those unconnected said they simply did not need to be online.
Twenty per cent said they lacked the skills to get online, while another 10% said they could not afford it.
The ONS figures have shown that the amount of people getting online over the age of 65 has increased to 37% this year, up from 9% in 2006.
Figures also show that internet usage on mobile devices has increased from 24% in 2010, to 53% this year. Increased mobile connection speeds have helped boost the number of people getting online.
The data shows us that there have been significant improvements in Digital Inclusion over the last several years. However, there is still crucial work to be done to ensure people are not excluded. We need to provide ongoing training and support to people, and make sure there is affordable IT equipment, and broadband connections, available to those who need it.
Other figures from the ONS data:
  • 70% of adults use a computer every day, up from 45% in 2006. For those aged 65 and over, this figure rose from 9% to 37%.
  • The majority of households with children – and those made up of three or more adults – are hooked up to the web (97%).
  • More than half of adults (55%) go online to read or download newspapers and magazines, compared with 20% in 2007. Those aged 25 to 34 (72%) are most likely to turn to the net for news. This figure stands at 49% for 55 to 64-year-olds.
  • More than half (53%) of adults use social networks, up from 48% last year. Almost all of those aged 16 to 24 (93%) visit the likes of Facebook or Twitter. For those aged 45 to 54, this figure is 50%.
  • There has been “significant growth” in the number of people who sell goods or services online. In 2007, only one in 10 adults used sites such as eBay or Gumtree. This has more than doubled in the past six years to 28%.
  • Almost three-quarters (72%) of adults say they bought goods or services online this year – up on 53% in 2008. While younger age groups have traditionally embraced internet shopping, there has been “significant growth” among pensioners. More than a third of those aged 65 and over (36%) shopped online this year – more than double the 2008 estimate of 16%. 
  • Almost all of those aged 16 to 24 (94%) have used a gadget to access the net “on the go”, compared with 17% of those aged 65 and over.
  • Over a fifth (21%) of 16 to 24-year-olds use a games console or eBook reader to connect away from home or work. This figure stands at 10% for 45 to 54-year-olds and 11% for all adults.
  • Three-quarters (76%) of those aged 25 to 34 access their bank accounts online. For adults of all age groups, the figure is 50%.
  • The internet has become a “key tool” for jobseekers. Two thirds (67%) of unemployed adults said they looked for a job or submitted an application online this year.
Get IT Together in Bristol is supported by BT’s Connected Society programme, BT’s commitment to help people right around the world gain the skills and confidence they need to join the online community and Bristol City Council.