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Minister Denis Naughten announces €2.2m in training funds to help get people online

22 December 2016

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, T.D., today awarded €2.2m to 15 community and not-for-profit organisations to provide basic digital skills training to people under his Department's new Digital Skills for Citizens Grant Scheme.

Minister Naughten said: "For those already online, the benefits of the internet are clear. A few simple steps and a digital world opens before you – one where old friends can catch up, businesses and customers can find each other and access to information is easy.


In a 'connected' society, digital skills for everyone are absolutely essential if we're going to realise the full social and economic potential of this digital world.

But many people have never had a chance to learn these skills. Helping these individuals, communities and businesses acquire them is a significant policy priority for me.


That is the idea behind my Department's Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme. It aims to give people the confidence, motivation and skills to take their first steps online, so that they can play their part in an increasingly digital world.


Working in partnership with the 15 community and not-for-profit organisations that have been awarded grant funding, we are actively supporting people to move online and enjoy all that the internet offers."


He added "I would also encourage all those who attend the training classes to share at least one skill they've learned with a friend or colleague, and help make these skills an integral part of everyday life in Ireland. It's one more way we can help more people benefit from this national initiative."

The Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme is a key part of the Government's National Digital Strategy which recognises the importance of enabling all citizens to realise the full social and economic potential of the digital world. Digital skills can empower and enrich the lives of people, giving them better access to information, culture, entertainment, social networking, eGovernment services, as well as online goods and services.


Training in basic internet skills will be delivered free of charge to more than 26,000 people during 2017. A full geographic spread of classes, engaging deeply with communities across every county, will be ensured and monitored under the Scheme.

Details relating to the 15 organisations which were successful in the Department of Communication's recent competitive call for proposals are set out in the table below.


GranteeNumber of non-liners to be trainedGrant Amount
Age Action Ireland Ltd2,461€221,490
Ballyhoura Development Company Ltd1,000€90,000
County Sligo Leader Partnership Company Ltd1,000€92,000
ECDL Ireland Ltd1,000€90,000
Family Carers Ireland Ltd1,000€92,000
Fast Track into Information Technology (FIT)4,000€320,000
IE Domain Registry Ltd1,000€100,000
Irish Rural Link Co-Operative Society Ltd1,300€105,599
Meath Community Rural & Social Development Partnership Ltd1,000€85,000
(NCBI) National Council for the Blind Group1,000€100,000
Roscommon Integrated Development Company Ltd7,000€595,000
South East Community Training & Education Centre   Ltd1,000€85,000
St Catherine's Community Services Centre Ltd1,000€85,000
The Cork Academy of Music Ltd1,000€80,000
Third Age Foundation Co. Ltd1,000€80,000



Notes to the Editors:

Almost one in six adults living in Ireland has never used the internet.  The Digital Skills for Citizens Scheme is designed to provide citizens who have never used the internet with the confidence, motivation and skills to reap the benefits of participating in today's digital world.


Organisations funded under the Scheme will target training at specific groups such as  people over 45, farming communities, small business owners, the unemployed, persons with disabilities and disadvantaged groups.


Under the Scheme, citizens 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.

Should you require any further information, please email  or contact Caroline Henry at 01 6782566.


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