Feature

TEC lets users drink and 'drive'

Daniel Thomas reports on a scheme to help people learn to "drive" their PCs from a variety of locations

The people of North Nottinghamshire are being offered driving lessons, without mention of the highway code, three point turns, or even a car.

The North Nottinghamshire Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) has started a drive to encourage local people to study for the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). The TEC hopes the programme will increase IT literacy in the area.

People achieving the qualification have to demonstrate they can use a range of software. By March, 10,000 people will be working towards their computer driving license.

The internationally recognised PC skills qualification promoted by the British Computer Society (BCS) has seven modules.

These are: basic concepts of IT; using the computer and managing files; word processing; spreadsheets; databases; presentation; information and communication.

Each model has a test to check that the student has acquired the skill.

Individuals are learning at home, work, community centres, libraries and local schools and colleges.

One local training company, ITS4U based in Worksop, has a course for 12 people in a pub - perhaps the only time people have been encouraged to drink and "drive".

Local projects are funded through individual learning accounts, company training budgets, and also by the Single Regeneration Budget and Skills Development Fund money provided by the Department of Trade & Industry.

Mike Caffrey, ECDL programme manager at the TEC, says,"Our aim is helping as many people in North Nottinghamshire to achieve the ECDL qualification. These skills will help them take advantage of the new world of the Internet and the changing technologies at home and work,"

Peter Bayley, deputy director of the ECDL business unit at the BCS, says,"The North Nottinghamshire initiative has proved effective at bringing the benefits of the qualification to individuals and companies.

"This has not only helped people and businesses to be competent in use of technology, but it is also a focus for information and communications technology development at regional level,"

Go to "http://www.ecdl.co.uk" for information about the ECDL and http://www.nntec.co.uk" for details of North Nottinghamshire's programme site.

Benefits

The European Computer Driving Licence is a Europe-wide qualification, funded by the EU. It is under license from the European Computer Driving Licence Foundation. Its aims are:

  • To raise the level of competency in IT

  • To improve work productivity

  • For employers to invest more efficiently in IT

  • To ensure that best practice and quality issues are understood and implemented

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    This was first published in January 2001

     

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