The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten is urging community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to apply for funding that will provide people with basic internet skills training under his Department’s new “Digital Skills for Citizens Grant Scheme”.
The Digital Skills for Citizens Grant Scheme is a key part of the Government’s National Digital Strategy and a significant policy priority for the Communications Minister Denis Naughten TD.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show almost 1 in 6 adults living in Ireland has never used the internet and cite lack of skills as one of the key barriers. This Scheme aims to address this skills deficit and give people the confidence and knowledge to participate in today’s digital world.
Format of the Scheme
Under the Grant Scheme, people who have never used the Internet will be provided with 10 hours of classroom training, free of charge. Lessons are structured to cover the basics skills, and also allow flexibility to address the particular needs and preferences identified by the trainees in attendance.
By working with organisations active in the communities they serve, the Minister’s Department aims to deliver internet training in numerous locations across all Counties. Organisations applying for grant assistance are encouraged to target training at specific groups such as people over 45, farming communities, small business owners, the unemployed, persons with disabilities and disadvantaged groups. It is expected between 25,000 and 30,000 people will be supported so they can move online.
Minister Naughten said
“I am urging all community groups and not-for-profit organisations to apply. Helping people to get online is a key focus for me and the Government. As the National Broadband Plan aims to deliver a “connected” society, internet skills for everyone are essential to realise the full social and economic potential of the digital world. By working in partnership with community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations, we will equip people with the skills they need to use and enjoy all that the internet offers.”
“Having digital skills can empower. It’s about enriching the lives of people by giving them better access to information, culture, entertainment, social networking, eGovernment services, as well as online goods and services,” concluded Minister Naughten.
Full details about the Grant Scheme are available on the Department’s website at www.dccae.gov.ie . The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 5pm on December 12th 2016.