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Connecting Scotland – phase three begins

Connecting Scotland – phase three begins
16 June 2021

Organisations in Orkney who assist unemployed young people and adults are being encouraged to apply for digital devices for those they represent through the Scottish Government’s phase three Connecting Scotland programme.

The first two phases have already seen 392 devices handed out in Orkney to those who are digitally excluded and fall under these categories - clinically vulnerable, over 60’s, those with disabilities, on low incomes and disadvantaged families with children and young people leaving care. Online mentoring and support packages have also been provided.

This new phase is asking organisations to apply on behalf of the unemployed young people and adults (aged 16 plus) they work with.

OIC Community Learning and Development Manager, Kerry Spence, said: “Connecting Scotland is a Scottish Government programme set up in response to coronavirus. It provides iPads, Chromebooks and support to develop digital skills for people who are digitally excluded and on low incomes.

“Following on from previous successful phases of the programme, a new round has just been announced specifically for organisations working to remove barriers related to digital exclusion for unemployed young people and adults. 

“Organisations can apply on behalf of the people they work with for digital devices (iPads and/or Chromebooks), internet connectivity (a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with 24 months unlimited data and training and support for staff and volunteers to become ‘digital champions’ to support people to use the internet confidently and safely.”

Organisations can apply on behalf of people that they work with that meet all the following criteria: 

  • They are digitally excluded – they currently do not have access to an appropriate device and/or internet connection at home. 
  • They are from a low income household – they cannot afford to buy a device or pay for internet access from their household income (e.g. claiming or eligible for Universal Credit.
  • They are actively taking steps to improve their employment prospects. This includes people furthest from the labour market who are not job ready but are undertaking activity to address any barriers to employment or training.
  • They are currently unemployed.

Priority will be given to organisations working with people who are likely to have been affected most by the changes to the labour market over the past year, either due to existing inequalities or redundancy identified as being women, lone parent,s young people, disabled people, minority ethnic people and those experiencing other forms of socio-economic disadvantage.

Organisations are encouraged to read the guidance on the Connecting Scotland website and consider submitting an application through the page by Monday 5 July at 5pm.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS