Kirkcaldy-based Fife Migrants Forum has launched an ‘IT 4 All’ training course with the help of a £5000 award from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s Community Investment programme.
The course will teach local migrants from countries like Poland, Russia, Spain and Portugal the IT skills they need to interact with Government departments such as their local job centre.
Fife Migrants Forum is one of nine community organisations operating in grant support ‘cold spots’ who will share £50,000 in awards from this round of the CRT’s Coalfields Community Investment Programme.
Sofia Dogan, project manager said: “There is a huge need for this type of course.
“Most of our clients can’t use computers and if they can there is a language barrier and with everything going online these days it is really hard for them to cope.
“We identified the need for the course though dealing with clients who perhaps want to apply for a job, but find it’s online, and they haven’t a clue as to what to do.
“We aim to give them the basic computing skills they need to cope with what is an increasingly computer driven society.”
Fife Migrants Forum hope to put 60 people through the course over the next couple of months and use that as a learning process to develop future courses.
Tom McAughtrie, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “We are delighted to support this initiative. More and more people will have to use computers to apply for jobs, and eventually to access benefits like the Universal Credit.
“But the reality is that many of those who most need these services are likely to be people who either have no IT skills, or only a very basic ability to use a computer.”
Sofia added: “Although our principal focus is migrants we will offer support to local people where we have the capacity.
“We are a collection point for Kingdom Credit Union, which means we have a good relationship with a lot of local people who come into our offices on a regular basis.”
The Fife Migrants Forum and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust have both been praised at Holyrood in a parliamentary motion by local MSP David Torrance congratulating them on a project which he says “will have a substantial impact on the lives of migrants in Fife”.