Supporting parents into work and online learning – Digital Brighton & Hove

Women sat with child on her lap and a laptop in the background

Digital Brighton & Hove has been working with the Providing Access to Childcare and Employment (PACE) team at Brighton & Hove City Council.  PACE helps parents with two, three and four year olds who get free childcare to move in to work, training and volunteering.

It’s a common myth that younger adults are ‘digital natives’, when in fact digital skills gaps exist for people of all ages. Recent research shows that 65% of under 39yr olds are looking to improve their digital use for employment and career progression[1]. With this in mind we have trained 3 members of the PACE staff team to be Digital Champions so they are confident to offer regular digital support sessions to parents. Digital Brighton & Hove has also provided 16 laptops for parents who cannot afford to purchase a device and are looking for work. This has made a potentially life changing difference to the parents; with many now accessing online courses and job searching online.

Eleanor from the PACE team told us; “So far we have had an amazing 16 laptops donated to PACE parents, 5 of whom have gone into work, 3 are actively job searching and another 4 are attending online courses.
It has been great to see parents using these in the Drop in’s and accessing courses from home, along with building their confidence getting online
A big thank you to Anna and the Digital Brighton & Hove team for making this happen!”

Another example of the brilliant impact of our work with the PACE team is Lucy’s* story

Lucy was starting work as a self-employed hairdresser and was getting support from PACE with the transition into work. She is a lone parent, unemployed, claiming Universal Credit and struggling with finances so could not afford to buy a computer. Lucy was concerned about working as she had no laptop, and needed to manage her invoices, banking and promoting her business online.

PACE contacted Digital Brighton & Hove who were able to fast track this parent to receive a laptop, and offered step by step guides on how to use the device and support with training if needed.

Lucy was delighted, as she can now manage her admin from home and fit this around working and looking after her young child.

[1] Lloyds Consumer Digital Index 2022

*Not her real name