February 2002

No 40

REDUCING unemployment among members of Leicester’s Bangladeshi community is one of the aims behind the extension and refurbishment of the Bangladesh Youth and Cultural Shomiti (BYCS) in Highfields. 

Funding of more than £81,000 from the Government’s SRB 2 programme has enabled the BYCS to build a new computer training and education room. And additional funding from the DfES has paid for computer equipment which will enable ICT training and internet access to be provided to local people.

Dr Shofiqul Chowdhury, project co-ordinator said: “Members of the Bangladeshi community are disadvantaged by low levels of education and vocational skills, resulting in high levels of unemployment. These improvements will help the BYCS to continue to offer a much needed service to help members of this community and others move into full-time employment in the future”.

BYCS are holding an open day on Thursday 21st February. This will be followed by the official opening of the extension which will be performed by Professor Robert Burgess, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester.

Professor Burgess said: “The University of Leicester is delighted to be associated with the launch of the BYCS on-line centre. It is only through effective partnerships that the benefits of education can be extended to people at all stages of their lives in the wider community.

“We welcome the development of the on-line centre, which complements our own initiatives for breaking down social and cultural barriers to education and widening participation in learning”.

The Shomiti had outgrown the city council owned building it occupies on Biddulph Street, but relocation would have meant removing it from the community it serves. The SRB funding has enabled it to expand its service and provide additional skills training, as well as providing five and a half new jobs at the centre.

The BYCS is funded by the lifelong learning and community development division of the city council’s education department. The UK Online Centre has also received backing from the New Opportunities Fund, and the expansion helped BYCS to secure support from the Community Fund and the European Social Fund.

For further information, please contact Debra Reynolds in the Press Office on (0116) 252 6398 or by e-mail: reynd001@leicester.gov.uk, or contact Dr Chowdhury at the BYCS on (0116) 275 5855.

[Leicester University] [*] Administration [*] Press and Public Relations
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 21 February 2002 15:00
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