Open Door Internet Limited was launched with a very simple mission:
To provide training and employment for the long term unemployed. Giving them the skills to work as web developers.
The commercial face of Open Door Internet was a platform to finance the project, to ensure there were real projects to work on, and to make sure that I stayed on the cutting edge of changes.
Between September 2010 and September 2012 I worked with seven individuals.
Each trainee received one-to-one tuition in a local coffee shop. To begin with each had two hours in one session every other week. By the end of the project those that were excelling had requested the training be increased to once per-week.
What started as a vision of classroom training very rapidly became a vision of one-to-one mentoring within a general context of web development.
The scheme was immensely rewarding, hugely frustrating, and financially challenging.
The trainees all gained from the experience. A few dropped out along the way, some decided that they wanted to pursue other career paths. Some went on to be employed as web developers.
When the office moved from Yeovil to Williton at the end of 2012 I decided to take the opportunity to draw a line under the first set of trainees, and to take a bit of time out to reflect on the project so far.
The first half of 2013 has been spent moving house, moving office, spending free time with family, and reflecting on the first two years of the project.
Reflecting on the project has involved looking at the bits that worked, the bits that didn't, and being mindful of how the scheme fits in with existing projects in the new catchment area.
Currently I hope to restart the training scheme, possibly looking a bit different, from The Sanctuary in Watchet before the end of 2013.
It's possible this will take the form of a free series of talks and seminars, with the intention of using these seminars to help find the trainees that need the most help.