Technology placement students make digital difference in Beaumont Leys

Two technology placement students are helping people find jobs, the elderly connect with their grandkids and young people develop skills for life, through the delivery of IT training workshops in Beaumont Leys.

Rakesh Modhvadiya and Jas Shota, who study Information and Communication Technology BSc (Hons) at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), work as IT Technicians for the Cooke e-learning Foundation at Beaumont Lodge.

The Foundation is a branch of Cooke Computers, set up to meet the changing demands of the digital world and the necessity for people to have a variety of technological skills.


22 year-old Rakesh said: “The work we are doing in the local communities has been taken really positively and more and more people are attending every week.

“I am enjoying the variety of the role, helping people who live locally in the city, as well as enhancing my future career prospects. It is extremely rewarding and I am glad our work is making a difference.

“I have got a lot more out of the experience than I thought I would, developing my current skills alongside learning how to manage people. Working in this environment and developing my learning will ultimately make me an ideal candidate that companies will be looking out for once I graduate.”

As members of the Reaching People Consortium, the Cooke e-learning Foundation is part of a £1.9 million project, jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund. The placements that the DMU students are currently participating in is part of the MoneyWise Plus project, which adds support for the development of digital skills of the project participants.

Jas Sahota is also undertaking a placement and the 21 year-old Information and Communication Technology BSc (Hons) student, said: “I am definitely learning a lot from the experience.

“I applied for the role as an IT Technician, but branching out to the teaching side too has been really eye-opening. I am currently working with local school children, developing their IT skills.”


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The Cooke e-learning scheme provides sessions five days a week, three at Beaumont Lodge and two outreach sessions in local neighbourhoods.

Martin Buchanan, CEO of the Cooke Computers said: “A lot of people have computer equipment which we’ve sourced, but they don’t know how to use it. Therefore, we have developed a training programme to give them skills on how to learn the basics and apply for jobs online for example.

“There is a decline in people using computers with a shift towards tablet devices. However, the need for people to develop their digital skills has grown.

“Without Rakesh and Jas, Cooke Computers wouldn’t exist. The help DMU has provided over the years has allowed us to develop and sustain the level of help we’re providing for people living locally.”

Posted on Wednesday 14th December 2016

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