#Techmums come to Gwynedd – developing women's digital skills

Date 20/10/2017

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The Pen Llŷn area in Gwynedd will be the first in Wales to implement an innovative scheme for mothers, and women in general, to learn about the digital world.

The purpose of the #Techmums charity is to give mums and women who have for one reason or another left the world of work, the skills and confidence, and enable them to re-engage in work again using the latest technology to do so whether it's in an office or in their homes.

Dr Sue Black who established the charity recently visited Coleg Meirion Dwyfor in Pwllheli to train staff on how to set up the digital courses for Pen Llŷn women.

Dr Black left the school at 16, he married young and had three children. By the age of 25, she was living in a refuge for women nd their children. She then resumed in an academic career, and earned a doctorate in technology. She spends a large amount of time working in the United States where she’s presenting in a series of conferences as well as promoting the #techmums charity there.

She founded #Techmums in 2012, a five-week course to train women in computers. The scheme has now given thousands of women skills across England, and now Gwynedd Council has asked her to start a pilot scheme in Pen Llŷn. This will be the first #techmums course to be rolled out in Wales and in another language other than English.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "The idea with Techmums is that we focus on identifying a cohort of women, whether they are mothers or women who have dropped out of the labor market, empowering them in technology and showing the opportunities that exist, whether socially or within the world of work.

"That can ensure that women increase their confidence and ability and identify work opportunities that enable them to work from home and work flexible hours to fit in with childcare responsibilities."

Aled Jones-Griffith, Assistant Head of Coleg Meirion Dwyfor said the college had been carrying out coding work with primary age children.

He said: "We've also been doing apps with secondary schools and we thought this was a natural step for us to start taking the technology out of the community.

"Pen Llŷn is known as a deprived area but there is so much talent here and I hope this scheme will give people the opportunity to re-engage in the career school."

One of those trained by Dr Black to run the courses for women in the Llyn is Gwenan Richards, an information technology lecturer at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.

"I've learned how much information technology can change the lives of individuals," said Ms. Richards. The main message for mothers and girls is that teaching basic technical skills can open doors for all kinds of work opportunities."There will be four #techmums courses held between now and March 2018 as part of the pilot project. For more information contact Gwenan 01758 701385 ext 8663 / richar1g@gllm.ac.uk

 

PHOTOGRAPHS:

1 – Gwynedd Council and Grwp Llandrillo-Menai staff welcoming Dr Sue Black to Coleg Meirion Dwyfor: Left to right - Dr Sue Slack, Gwenan Richards (Grwp Llandrillo-Menai), Myo Tint (Grwp Llandrillo-Menai), Sioned Morgan Thomas (Gwynedd Council), Louise Howe (Grwp Llandrillo-Menai) ac Aled Jones-Griffiths (Assistant Principal Coleg Meirion Dwyfor)

2 - Dr Sue Black has been carrying out training so that other people can conduct the #techmums sessions. Here’s Sue and some Grwp Llandrillo-Menai staff during one of the sessions (Dr Sue Black, Myo Tint, Gwenan Richards and Louise Howe)