Have you heard of #techmums? This new programme offers mums in the city, who may have taken a break from the world of work, or have long term child-care commitments, the chance to keep up to date with advances in technology and to brush up on and learn new digital skills.
Undertaken as part of the Council’s 100% Digital Leeds initiative led by Employment and Skills and Leeds Libraries, Leeds was the first city outside of London to deliver the learning classes as part of the #techmumsClubs initiative.
The #techmumsClubs 10-week course covers a range of subjects from online safety and social media to basic coding, and has been credited with opening doors to jobs and further education.
Mavis, one of the mums who attended a #Techmums course, tells us more about what being a #techmum means to her.
From being a stay-at-home mother with little confidence, Mavis has transformed into an empowered ‘Techmum’ and has begun a ‘teaching assistant’ course as a means to reaching her employment goal.
Mavis really did have her hands full looking after her children full time, and as they achieved school age, she thought she had fallen behind with her own skills and abilities, particularly with regard to ICT.
Whilst visiting Dewsbury Road Hub, a poster caught her eye. It was for the forthcoming ‘#techmums’ course starting at the hub that January. After speaking to staff about the content of the course, Mavis decided that this was for her and signed up.
She enjoyed the learning experience so much that she also enrolled on a ‘teaching assistant’ course with Leeds City College.
Mavis said: “I was always interested in technology but did not have the confidence to work with it or even talk about it. Techmums made me have the thought of educating myself. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on blogging and keeping my children safe online.”
Evaluations of #techmums programmes has found that not only do learners evidence increased confidence in their ability to use technology, there is also significant increase in their overall confidence and aspirations for their own and their family’s futures.
#Techmums was founded by Dr. Sue Black OBE, whose story is reflective of the transformative effect that technology and education can have on women and their families. At the age of 25, Sue was a single mother living in a domestic violence refuge with three children and few formal qualifications. She enrolled on a university access course which led to a place on a Computer Studies degree. She has since gained a PhD and had a successful 20-year academic career. Sue set up the UK’s first online network for women in tech, BCSWomen, led the campaign to save Bletchley Park and was recently appointed Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University.
To find out more about Techmums and the courses they offer, visit https://techmums.co/
If you would like to sign up for an adult learning course, have a look at https://www.leedsadultlearning.co.uk/ and see the wide range of courses on offer.