Printed in the Nottingham Post on April 15, 2011.
Cash cuts are threatening the future of a centre which provides computer and training services to unemployed people in The Meadows.
Go Digit All, an IT training company at the Bridgeway shopping precinct, expects to lose £30,000 a year as a result of government changes to funding for adult learning.
Director Natasha Johnson-Richards said: “We are still running the project but, long-term, there are doubts.
“We were granted funding for three years from the Home Office, but the funding was renamed and now we have to apply again to cover the next two years.
“Over the last two years we used the funding to set up an online radio station and engaged young people who could otherwise have been involved in gang culture.”
The centre received money for every unemployed person using its services, but now it will only get money for those taking an online skills course.
It has employed 16 young people over the last nine months, through the Future Jobs apprenticeship scheme for 18 to 24-year-olds.
The national scheme has now been axed by the government, and the centre’s staff will be reduced from 12 to three.
Last week Shane Henson, 23, finished a technical support course at the centre through Future Jobs.
He said: “If it wasn’t for the scheme I would not have found work. The course I wanted to do would have cost thousands of pounds.”
The company, started in 2001, opened The Meadows centre seven years ago. It has another one in Alfreton Road, Radford.
Ms Johnson-Richards said more than 200 people used the centre each year, while 500 unemployed people were helped through outreach work.
“IT is a core skill, but the Government is limiting people’s access,” she said.
“There is going to be a lack of opportunity.
“People are going to be restricted, which will stifle creativity and make them more demotivated.
“But we are not going to be deterred – this is just a challenge we are going to overcome.”