Free digital skills courses for Leeds mums return in 2020

Leeds’ popular #techmums clubs are welcoming new recruits for the second round of free courses starting in January 2020.

Led by Leeds Libraries and Leeds Employment and Skills, the clubs are back by popular demand, after recently winning a Women in IT Excellence award for most diverse and inclusive digital initiative. The #techmums clubs are a key part of the Leeds City Council 100% Digital Leeds programme.

For ten weeks, women on the free course explore social media, web and app design, coding, online safety and creative design. #techmums is for women who are currently outside employment, due to childcare or career breaks, who want to learn new digital skills for day-to-day life or go on to retrain and access further education.

Forty-one #techmums graduated from the last course in 2019, with 12 moving straight on to another Leeds Employment and Skills course. Three mums secured places on the sought-after TechUP programme, which helps people from underrepresented communities retrain and start new careers in technology.

Through the Leeds Libraries tablet lending scheme, women can also borrow iPads during the course to continue learning at home.

The #techmums clubs were originally created in London by Dr Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University. Sue was inspired by her own experience of retraining and establishing a successful academic career in technology, after starting out as a single mum with few qualifications, living in a domestic violence refuge.

Gifty Assana joined #techmums in 2019:

“After having children, I felt my knowledge of technology was very outdated and I needed to do something but I wasn’t quite sure what…The #techmums experience was fantastic. The course covered topics introduction to coding, app design, online safety and budgeting online. Last but not least, it created an atmosphere to form lovely relationships with other women…I am currently learning things I didn’t imagine myself doing before #techmums.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:

“We are extremely proud of the award-winning #techmums clubs and look forward to celebrating the achievements of this year’s graduates. This collaboration by Leeds Libraries and Leeds Employment and Skills offers inspiring learning experiences for women across the city, as well as the chance to consider a career in technology, which is a growing industry in Leeds.”

The #techmums clubs start during the second week of January, with a drop-in welcome event including at Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library on Friday 17 Juanuary 2020, 1-3pm.

For more information and to book your place, visit leedsadultlearning.co.uk, e-mail leedsadultlearning@leeds.gov.uk or telephone (0113) 378 7002.

This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

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