Ireland South MEP
Government scheme to give free classes in how to use the internet
The Department of Communications have launched a new scheme which gives free digital skills training to people in rural Ireland. The scheme is aimed at people over 45 and provides 10 hours of free classroom training in how to use the internet, receive and send emails, bank online, process motor tax online, online shopping and how to use social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook.
The free training program is designed to give people the most basic skills they need to use and enjoy the benefits of the internet.
I welcome this training, which is open to all, but is particularly targeted at the farming community, small business owners who are not online and disadvantaged groups. Almost a quarter (22%) of Irish SMEs are completely offline, despite half acknowledging that an online presence is important for generating business awareness. This is according to a recent research report published today by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the company responsible for managing and maintaining Ireland’s official domain name, .ie.
It is surprising to think that in this day and age, someone would be completely offline, but this is the case for many in Irish society who are excluded from the benefits we get from being connected.
These classes will focus on the most basic skills to allow older people in particular to stay connected with family that may be abroad. It will also allow them to develop proficiencies in areas such as online banking which for many older people, may save them unnecessary trips to the bank’s branch.
Each person attending these classes will receive 10 hours of free classroom training in their area where classes will be a maximum of 2 hours each in duration. A computer of laptop will be provided during each class or people can bring their own devise, if they have one. Classes will be advertised locally and will be country wide.