Computer training helps disabled return to work

2nd May 2003

The BCS administered European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) computer skills qualification is helping the long term unemployed and disabled of Southend return to work, whilst contributing to local environmental issues associated with computer disposal.

Peter Freight, Andrew Pattison, Peter Bailey, Ray Gilliam and Edward Mead (left to right) ECDL was chosen by the European Social Funded project named 'Southend Transition' by Seetec, the IT training and employment company, after recognising that an increasing number of people with disabilities were prevented from returning to work due to a lack of training and skills.

Jeremy Nutter, Seetec General Manager explains, "We came up with the computer recycling project because it could provide people with more appropriate training which they could complete at a pace to suit them and build their confidence in the process. It was absolutely ideal for people who needed new skills and wanted to try something out in a limited work capacity. At the same time, we thought the project would help solve environmental issues associated with disposing of computers as well as an opportunity to introduce a new industry to the area."

The programme lasts 26 weeks, of which the first 13 weeks are spent by the beneficiaries studying for the internationally recognised ECDL, providing them with the knowledge to handle generic office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, and using communications tools such as the internet and email.

After the beneficiaries have gained their ECDL qualifications at the end of the 13 week period they will move into an intermediate labour market for computer recycling with Seetec committed to helping them find employment.

One beneficiary of the project, Edward Meade explains why the initiative has boosted his self-esteem and confidence, "I used to be a licensed London cab driver but a series of major operations meant that I am now limited in the type of work I can do. A great team spirit exists amongst my fellow beneficiaries studying ECDL and when I pass a module I feel a real sense of achievement. Studying has helped me to regain the ability to concentrate and focus on a topical activity. I have enjoyed the course so much I am considering progressing to Advanced ECDL!"

For further information about the benefits of ECDL, please visit the ECDL section where a number of success stories can be accessed. Alternatively, please call +44 (0) 1793 417530.

Seetec website

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.