Masiphumelele residents are encouraged to make use of the computer lab at Masiphumelele Library so that they can unlock opportunities for themselves.Earlier this year Masicorp, an organisation that provides funding for education and investment in enterprise, has been working in the area for more than 20 years.The organisation is now offering accredited International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) courses to the community from their computer lab at the library. Megan Pringle, fundraiser at Masicorp, says their first course kicked off in September, with 15 attendees in total taking part. “Twice a week, between 15:30 and 17:30, the group visits the computer lab at Masiphumelele Library to undergo free training on essentials such as word processing and file management. “We have 15 people but the lab can host up to about 30 people. We are encouraging people to come and attend the courses,” she says.Pringle says the attendees are taught the basics of using a mouse, doing a word document and working on their CVs.“These are the basics that are needed now in the modern world. If you know these things at least you can look for a job and work on your CV nicely.The trainees have admitted they are finding the course somewhat challenging, but each one has reported back that they are feeling more positive and confident in their “Each trainee will be assessed using the online official ICDL assessment tool and those that pass will receive an official ICDL certificate. “This internationally recognised qualification will enable people to certify their computer skills to an internationally recognised standard – a wonderful accompaniment to any CV,” adds Pringle.Grab the new courseThe next course starts in February and they are looking forward to a new influx of trainees to welcome to the lab.“We are always excited to share the impact our skills development and training is making – it’s more than just teaching a new skill, it’s about opening doors of opportunity to those who need it the most. “There is a high level of unemployment in our area, and this computer lab goes a long way for those that are on a job hunt,” says Pringle.Aphiwe Makhendlana was one of the previous Adult Advanced Course attendees, having attended six months of free training at the computer lab under the guidance of Nyasha Sithole until he successfully received his completion certificate.“Part of the training the lab offers is providing attendees with the skills to confidently and professionally apply for job opportunities. Aphiwe responded to an advert for a quality controller position with knowledge of Excel, Word and email. “After submitting his CV, he was invited to an interview and later told that the job was his. “Some time later, he was promoted to efficiency driver within the company and Aphiwe was able to further use his computer skills to perform data capturing and “He is now also volunteering for Living Hope, where he is being trained and working in monitoring and evaluation as well as HR. These are the reasons why we want people to take part in these courses.” concludes Pringle. V To attend the course next year or for more information, call Masicorp on 021 785 1923.