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Online centres help amateur surfers net local jobs

Two North East online centres have launched a new campaign for the New Year after their previous course successfully helped people across the Tees Valley to get back into employment.

Off the back of national “Get Online Week”, staff at the Hope Foundation in Middlesbrough, and Cyber Valley Digital Voice, which serves Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, are now helping even more people to get online and increase their employability as part of national “New Year, New Online You” campaign.

This campaign, which is currently running until February 17th 2012, involves classes to help people improve their internet skills and learn how to access such online government services as Jobseeker’s allowance online, pension information and NHS Choices.

One individual who has benefited from the online classes by finding employment is 54 year-old Remington Mills, from Middlesbrough, who had been out of work for eight months after being made redundant for the second time in fifteen years.

The former food services worker was encouraged to attend the Hope Foundation’s online classes by his local Job Centre Plus. During the classes, Remington learnt how to update his CV online so that he could apply for Job Centre vacancies by e-mail. This led to him gaining a temporary position within the Post Office during Christmas last year.

Remington said: “I was pretty nervous visiting the Hope Foundation, but I knew it would be a real help in getting a new job. I moved on pretty quickly, which meant I could start looking at job search websites which was a real help.”

After working in the food industry for 35 years, Remington now wishes to return to permanent work within this field and is confident that his new skills will help him to achieve this.

He said: “I’m really proud of my new skills, but the Hope Foundation has made me more confident too. Just meeting new people, chatting and making friends has really opened me out. The Hope Foundation changed my life; I just wish I’d done it all years before!”

Andrew Donaghy, an employability tutor at the Hope Foundation, said: “Because industry has traditionally been the largest employer in the area there are so many people – especially those of a slightly older generation – who are finding themselves out of work and without the skills they need to find a new job.

“It’s great to see someone who was initially not even comfortable touching a mouse, gain these skills, and we were all delighted to see Remington rewarded for his hard work and efforts by gaining employment.”

Cyber Valley Digital Voice has also helped individuals in similar positions to Remington. Sunny Singh, from Eston, Teesside, attended Cyber Valley’s classes whilst looking for work as a merchandiser or driver.

Since learning how to build his CV and search for vacancies online, he has been successful in finding work as a delivery driver.

Sunny said: “The most useful part of the classes was getting advice on CVs and letters, as well as experience in using a computer for e-mails and searching for work. I value the fact that there is always someone there to help with any question whether small or major and I’ve met many interesting people.”

For more information, or to sign yourself up for any “New Year, New Online You” classes, please call the Hope Foundation on 01642 232220 , or for Cyber Valley Digital Voice, call 01642 447721 .

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