Young people from the Musselburgh-based Bridges Project have been putting Edinburgh College’s new online application system through its paces.

They were asked to test the system’s prototype and give feedback on how accessible and user-friendly it was.

The trial took place in the GetConnected IT & Education Suite at the Bridges Project on Bogpark Road, which works with young people in East Lothian and Midlothian.

Simen Holm, the charity’s fundraising and communications manager, said: “Edinburgh College has recently redesigned their online application process to make it more accessible and user-friendly for young people with various barriers to enter the further education system.

“Being aware of the demographics of Bridges Project’s clients and the charity’s facilities, the college approached Bridges Project to see if some of their young people would participate in testing the new application process.”

Adam Meechan, development manager at Edinburgh College, added: “We have approached Bridges Project because we recognise all the good they have been doing in helping young people get into positive destinations.

“For us, the most important thing is to make it more accessible for young people who have barriers to get into the education system.”

Over the course of two hours, four young people with barriers such as dyslexia, ADHD and experience from the care system completed a mock application. Each young person was assisted by two members of Edinburgh College’s IT team, who navigated them through the application process and received feedback on the process.

The IT professionals also had another laptop that was tracking the application, in order to obtain a real feel of how well the process went in terms of accessibility.

Erin Richardson, 20, one of Bridges Project’s Young Ambassadors who completed the trial, said: “It was a really good initiative from Edinburgh College. I think it was really useful for them to have some young people test out their product and see if we can make any improvements.”

Bridges Project’s educational support worker Sam Lamond, funded by the Robertson Trust, facilitated the trial and also invited some of her clients to participate in it.

She said: “It’s fantastic that Edinburgh College approached us as the only organisation working with young people to actually try this system out.”

Ms Lamond believed that the initiative was “incredibly valuable” for Bridges Project and the charity’s young people, as well as for Edinburgh College.

She added: “It was really important to work in partnership with Edinburgh College, one of our biggest partners, and a fantastic opportunity for us.

“I feel really honoured and this is a very proud moment for Bridges Project.”

Edinburgh College’s new application system is due to launch in the spring in order to be used for the new intake of students in August.