Led by the Univserity of Portsmouth and supported by a further ten partners from both France and the UK, PONToon – Partnership Opportunities using New Technologies fostering sOcial and ecOnomic inclusioN – is an international project that focuses on up-skilling socially disadvantaged women in order to support their economic inclusion, via a fusion of digital technologies and creative industries.

The model, which centres on community development, social and economic inclusion and equality, aims to produce a methodology that is not only scalable and transferrable but also applicable to broader demographic sets and geographical regions for continuing impact.

You can find out more about PONToon here.

The project will utilize a variety of tools, including virtual reality interviews, webinars and bespoke computer game experiences, where the game scenarios aim to engage and train users on basic and advanced ICT skills, social media usage and other digital skills. These novel forms of training are often found to be more engaging and effective than traditional methods and will help socially excluded women gain the relevant employability skills needed to support their economic inclusion.

The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth, is lead partner in this three-and-a-half-year project with 11 UK and French partners, and a total budget of 5.8 million euros (approximately €1.5 million total budget to University of Portsmouth; 69% grant funded, 31% partner contribution).

Eastleigh Borough Council is proud to support the initiative via a number of means, chiefly the provision of communications expertise to assist in raising the profile and extending the reach and impact of the project.