Headlines: March 9th, 2001

More than 1,200 UK online centres have launched this week to give wider access to computers and the Internet – along with plans to launch nearly as many more again.David Blunkett has launched the centres as a way of bridging the digital divide between those with access to new technology and those without.

A recent DfEE survey found that 68 per cent of professionals have used the Internet compared with 22 percent of the semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Older people and those from ethnic minorities are also less likely to have access to the Internet.

The new centres provide the first step into the Internet world, learning and jobs – at low or no cost.

Link: www.dfee.gov.uk/ukonlinecentres

As part of the strain of thought that such access leads to greater jobs information and prospects, the DfEE has linked the launch of the centres to the launch of a new website, www.worktrain.gov.uk, which gives instant online access to 800,000 job and training opportunities across Britain.

The Worktrain site is designed to be easy to use, even for those who haven’t used the Internet before.