The 'IT for Rural Enterprises' project will aim to improve the employment opportunities of individuals as well as increase the use of ICT to boost business performance across the rural economy.
The project aims to train almost 4,000 individuals and support over 2,500 micro rural enterprises, and has received funding from European Structural Funds and the Welsh Assembly Government.
On offer will be training to use software to manage a micro-business including online sales and banking as well as completing VAT and self assessment tax online. Through the scheme individuals will be able to gain national recognised qualifications and skills to help their business operate more effectively.
There will also be courses for those with very low or no IT Skills, with one to one training available to those who have barriers to attending formal training such as lack of transport or childcare.
The Deputy First Minister said:
"This important project is designed to ensure enterprises across the rural economy are able to fully benefit from the opportunities presented by ICT. Ensuring that our workforce is fluent in ICT plays a big part in this, helping achieve our goals as outlined in our progressive 'One Wales' agenda and our vision of a vibrant Welsh economy delivering strong and sustainable economic growth by providing opportunities for all."
Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths said:
"This is a great opportunity for employers and employees of rural micro enterprises to acquire IT skills that will lead to both improved business performance and career opportunities. IT training is essential to equip individuals with the skills they need in a modern workforce and will contribute directly to creating a strong and enterprising economy in rural Wales with improved employment and quality jobs."
Training sessions in Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel, Access, Internet and Email will also be available through the scheme as well as training in accounts packages and other business software.
In addition, the participants will be able to receive one-to-one support with a trained IT Mentor to enable them to access the internet and set up email accounts with follow on support to implement IT to manage their enterprise.
For more information, contact the IT for Rural Enterprise team on 01686 620224 / 620214.
3 December 2009