Minister Denis Naughten urges community groups to apply for funding under new Scheme for people to learn how to get online
18 November 2016
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, T.D., today is inviting community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to apply for funding to provide citizens with basic digital 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 that 17% of Irish people have 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.
Working in partnership with organisations active in the communities they serve, the Minister's Department aims to deliver digital literacy 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 delighted to launch this new Scheme and 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, digital 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.
NB* 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.
The call for proposals is open to all community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to apply for grant assistance to provide basic digital skills training courses in cities, towns and villages across all Counties. Organisations have the opportunity to collaborate and work together to submit an application, in which case one organisation will take the lead role.
These organisations are already active in communities and are best placed to encourage and support citizens locally to take the first step to get online.
Under the Grant 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.
Closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 5pm on 12th December 2016.
Full details about the Grant Scheme are available on the Department's website at http://www.dccae.gov.ie/communications/en-ie/Digital-Strategy/Pages/Get-Citizens-Online.aspx
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