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Should we charge more?

We did start the courses by attempting to make them free, which was OK when everything was being done on a purely voluntary basis. Sustainability has to work on several levels though.

Our attempt to employ tutors to provide a more professional approach to the training, seems to be working, but the obtaining of money to pay tutor fees has not proved to be a great success. We are mainly relying on staff contracted by the ECC to work on our behalf to fund this (through community, Ed?), but have not seen any of it yet, mainly down to the admin and organising of it being mainly in our own voluntary hands .

Our token effort to contribute to this has been partially successful – £5 unwaged, £20 waged but it does appear that a lot of the future students will be coming from the clientbase of organisations working with vulnerable people and though technically unwaged will not be paying their own fees anyway.

Secondly the current course only has 3 trainees (the lowest yet), which I think is down to the structure of the courses (in that there is always slippage in the start dates and nobody ever has any idea of when a course will start) and lack of advertising.

I think we need to do 2 things to make the training a going concern –

  1. Make the course a rolling programme, so that one four week course immediately follows another, that way we can have a rolling recruitment program – allocate the computers from the lab (or the park at Knowle West), plus we can have general advertising rather than keep producing different ads with all the confusion over dates that have caused us so many problems.
  2. Increase the fees to £20 unwaged, £60 waged (that is £7.50 an hour for high quality computer tuition, which is still a bargain!) to make us rely on ECC less for funding , until such time as we can afford to employ our own Educational Activities Co-Ordinator