TSW Training Apprenticeships has helped 60 of its learners to access new laptops and iPads thanks to the Welsh Government’s Digital Exclusion Fund.
The emergence of Covid-19 forced learners to work from home, and many had no access to appropriate equipment, devices, or adequate connectivity to complete their studies, other than their smartphones, leaving them digitally excluded. The Welsh Government responded by releasing a £2.6 million capital grant fund in 2021 to support those who were digitally excluded.
The Digital Exclusion fund is part of Digital 2030, a strategic framework for digital learning in the post-16 sector covering further education, work-based and adult learning in Wales.
The fund was made available to apprenticeship training providers who could invest in technology to help apprentices with digital barriers, and South Wales training provider TSW Training Apprenticeships has, as a result, helped 60 digitally excluded learners access technology to support their studies, with students directly benefiting from the scheme, including Samuel Taylor and Megan Taylor.
SSTLS apprentice Samuel Taylor is just one example of an individual who was able to benefit from the scheme – Samuel stays in school after hours to work towards his qualifications – and although there are laptops at school, they can only be used by pupils during school hours. Samuel’s TSW Training Advisor, Abigail John, secured him a laptop via the Digital Exclusion Fund, giving him the flexibility to work when and where he needs to.
Megan Taylor (above) had just started her Level 2 foundation CCPLD apprenticeship and intends to progress onto the Level 3 qualifications. In her first review with her TA, Michelle David, Megan revealed that although she was using her smartphone to work, she was finding it very difficult and was saving towards a new laptop. TSW put her forward for a brand-new Digital Exclusion Fund laptop, which she received in May 2021.
“TSW Training Apprenticeships supplied 60 of its apprentices, who wouldn’t have been able to continue their studies at home through lockdown, with brand new laptops and tablets, thanks to the Welsh Government’s Digital Exclusion Fund,” explains Managing Director, Stuart Davies.
“They can continue with their studies and achieve their qualifications, allowing employers to continuing upskilling their people and grow their business capabilities.”
Meet more of TSW’s digital exclusion learners here: https://www.tsw.co.uk/about-us/our-case-studies/digital-exclusion-fund/