From education to employment

Barnsley College addresses digital skills gap with a fully-funded online IT course

Barnsley College

Barnsley College (@BarnsleyCollege) has launched a new course to help improve digital skills across the region.

The fully-funded Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills course is aimed at those aged 19 and over who need to develop their IT literacy in order to secure employment or improve their professional performance.

It is designed to be completed online via the Skills Network’s digital learning platform over a period of six to 10 weeks, depending on the applicant’s prior knowledge. 

The course has a weekly intake, which means that it is open to accept a new cohort of applicants every Monday. As a part-time programme, students need only study one day per week and they do not need to sit exams. To gain the certificate, they complete assignments for each of the five modules they work on.

On completion of the course, students will have the IT skills required for the modern workplace. This includes the production of presentations and spreadsheets, as well as fundamental knowledge of IT software and security.

Abby Holmes, Programme Manager of Business, Warehousing and Logistics, the Department responsible for delivering the course, said: “A basic understanding of IT is imperative for anyone living and working in our digital age. At the moment, there are a huge number of people across Barnsley and South Yorkshire who simply do not possess those skills. 

“By offering this course, the College is giving residents of all ages the opportunity to gain new digital skills and boost employability in the local area, as well as promoting an ethos of lifelong learning and professional development.” 

The arrival of this course also reflects the College’s commitment to delivering on the proposals set out in the Government’s ‘Skills for Jobs’ white paper, released earlier this month. The document sets out reforms to post-16 technical education and training, and encourages schools and colleges to support people developing the skills needed to secure employment and improve national productivity.

In response to the Government’s proposals, Yiannis Koursis, Principal and Chief Executive of Barnsley College, said: “Colleges must continue to rise to the challenge and offer solutions that drive the future economy, meet the nation’s skills gaps, and present an opportunity for real progression to students. We are addressing the digital skills gap and digital poverty, by investing in our digital offer. Barnsley College believes that every adult has the right to life-long education and training, ensuring they have the skills to succeed in the new and future economy.”

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