March 29th 2018
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten T.D., has today acknowledged the report Supporting Digital Literacy Among Older People published by Age Action which highlights the need to examine new ways of supporting older people to get online.
Minister Naughten said: "The Government is acutely aware of the challenges of trying to bridge the digital divide and deeply committed to providing everybody with the opportunity to develop skills to get online. For example, my Department's 'Getting Citizens Online Programme' which is a key part of the Government's National Digital Strategy, is focused on supporting and empowering citizens to participate fully in Ireland's digital economy and society. The Programme provides the 'Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme' which teaches basic digital skills training to those who have never used the internet. Since the Scheme began last year almost 26,000 people have received training. The Scheme is on target to train 50,000 by the end of 2018 at a cost of €2.2million. I would also like to acknowledge the importance of providing all people, regardless of age or location, the opportunity to avail of the training being provided. Training is taking place in communities right across the country and over 10,000 people over the age of 65 have received training to-date."
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is in the process of securing funding to work with An Post on an initiative called "Digital Assist" which will use the local post office as a digital gateway for Government business and will be initially rolled out as a pilot initiative across the country.
Notes for Editors.
Statistics from data collected from citizens at the end of their 10 hours training:
- Improving wellbeing and reducing isolation -over 48% of trainees have told us that they feel less isolated as a result of completing the training
- 60% of all trainees now feel competent to use online Government services
- 63% will use skills learned to stay in touch with family/friends
- 30% of all trainees say that the skills learned will improve their job prospects
- Trainees also reported that their confidence had improved and they were saving time and money by using their skills to access information and make more informed purchasing decisions.
More information on Digital Skills can be accessed on the Departments website - https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/communications/topics/Digital-Strategy/getting-citizens-online/Pages/Citizens-and-Training.aspx