Digital skills for refugees: how you can help!

We urgently need digital skills volunteers in Birmingham and Greater Manchester to help refugees take ownership of their learning and access meaningful employment opportunities.


Breaking Barriers

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You’re likely reading this on a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. What if you didn’t have basic digital skills to navigate these devices? How would you feel? How would you access essential services? How would you apply for jobs? We tend not to think about the impact of not having digital skills in our everyday life, but this is the reality for our refugee clients.

The ability to navigate the web safely and confidently, use Microsoft Office and store personal data securely is what we would describe as basic digital skills. Not having these skills can have devasting impact on refugees and their ability to integrate into society. This includes:

  • Increased isolation and difficulty in communicating with others
  • Limited ability to search and apply for employment opportunities
  • Reduced access to educational resources
  • Difficulty in accessing public services such as booking GP appointments

We have created a digital skills programme to tackle the lack of digital literacy within the refugee community. The programme involves our clients getting hands-on experience using digital devices, with training and support being provided by our digital skills volunteers.

Joy, a refugee client, has been part of the digital skills training programme for three months. Here’s what she said about the support she has been receiving on the digital skills programme.

Digital skills training is helping me learn more about digital skills, and I am still willing to learn more because it will help me a lot in the future. The support Breaking Barriers is providing for me is helping me build my life as a mother who is working to support her children growing up. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

We urgently need digital skills volunteers in Birmingham and Greater Manchester to provide digital skills training to refugees. This is a great opportunity for someone with great communication skills and a desire to support the employability of refugees across Birmingham and Greater Manchester.

As a digital skills volunteer, your main responsibility will be to provide refugees with the skills and knowledge to use digital devices confidently.

You are not required to have a background in computer science or be an expert in everything digital. All you need to volunteer is knowledge of essential digital skills such as connecting to Wi-Fi, Microsoft Office, Google suite, and other digital functions.

Rosie shared her experience of volunteering on digital skills training porgramme. Here’s what she said.

I helped a lady who had recently got her first laptop learn how to use a mouse and keyboard, search her inbox and copy and paste information. It was amazing to see her quickly grow in confidence. By the end of the hour, she managed to search for an elusive email from her boss that she’d been anxious about finding and replying to.

If you would like more information about digital skills volunteers, or if you would like to sign-up to our digital skills volunteering programme, then below are the steps you should take.

Steps to becoming a digital skills volunteer