Disadvantaged youth in Canberra's south will be able to improve their digital skills and confidence thanks to the launch of a computer clubhouse by the YWCA on Friday.
The Richardson-based clubhouse will be open to all youth in Tuggeranong aged between 10 and 18 years and aims to provide a creative and collaborative out-of-school learning environment.
The centre adjacent to the Richardson Primary School was formerly launched by Minister for Children and Young People Mick Gentleman who described the clubhouse as a "fantastic initiative" for Canberra's disadvantaged youth.
"For many of the young people involved, it will be their first out of school learning experience so this is a great opportunity for some of our young Canberrans," he said.
"Not only will the Clubhouse give them access to high tech computer tools and the latest gadgets but also future internship and employment opportunities through the program's mentors and industry.'
Computer Clubhouse steering committee member Tony Henshaw said technology was agnostic about people's backgrounds and could empower young people.
"People can go to the clubhouse and try the technology and see whether it works for them, whether they are happy using it, whether they are happy building it and that way get to experience what it might do for them regardless of their background," he said.
Mr Gentleman said the clubhouse, which plans to reach out to youth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, was an example of a productive partnership between Canberra's corporate and philanthropic communities and the ACT government.
"The YWCA of Canberra do wonderful work to deliver youth engagement and therapeutic services for vulnerable children, young people and their families and the ACT government is pleased to support this," he said.