Oldham

Oldham Libraries help residents bridge the digital divide

Oldham Council is one of 30 organisations across Greater Manchester that have been chosen to deliver a new community digital skills project – Breaking Digital Barriers.

As part of the scheme residents can get eight hours of free support to help them become more digital savvy.

The project is aimed at working age residents on low incomes who feel they need to improve their skills.

Because the advice is tailored to the needs of individuals, our staff will take them through anything they might need help with, such as online shopping and how to use social media through to applying for jobs.

If people feel confident after taking part in the scheme and want to carry on with their learning, we’ll also be signposting them to courses they can take part in

The project is being delivered at Oldham, Crompton, Royton (in its temporary location), Fitton Hill, Failsworth, Limehurst and Northmoor libraries. You don’t have to be a library member to take part.

Councillor Shaid Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The last two years have shown how important it is that everyone has good digital skills.

“Despite widespread internet access, there is still a deep divide between those who have the digital skills and confidence to benefit fully and those who do not.

“It’s vital that all our residents, especially those in to underrepresented groups, have the skills to meet the needs of today’s digital world.

“By gaining basic digital skills people can go on to progress in work, learning and life.”

Helen Milner, Group Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation says: “Fixing the digital divide is about more than supporting people who are ‘offline’ so they can go ‘online’.

“A significant number of people only use the internet in a ‘limited’ way – often reflecting a lack of affordable internet and/or digital skills and/or confidence and motivation.

“We’re delighted to be working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Oldham Council on this project, which will go some way to overcoming those barriers.”

To find out more about Breaking Digital Barriers contact [email protected] or call 01617708076.

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