Ireland’s Minister for Communications has announced he is extending the availability of basic digital skills training under the BenefIT 3 scheme.
Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, today announced the Government will be investing €1.88m in furthering the BenefIT 3 scheme, which provides basic digital skills training from more than 200 organisations spanning 700 locations countrywide.
The scheme, which was supposed to wrap up at the end of this month, teaches people how to use the internet and services like email and Skype. Participants can find out how to perform day-to-day tasks online by learning about online transactions, basic digital photography, online banking and how to search for information.
Building computer confidence
“This training is proving very popular,” said Rabbitte. “This is clear from the very positive feedback we are getting from the people who have availed of the training all over the country. I am very heartened to see the beneficial impact it is having on so many people.”
Rabbitte pointed to the fact that almost everyone that has completed the BenefIT 3 training has said they would recommend it to others. Of those who have participated in the scheme to date, 36pc were aged 65 or older, 24pc were unemployed and more than 7pc had some form of disability.
Around 30pc of participants said they would be confident enough to pass on the skills they had learned while the same amount also said they intended to buy a computer, laptop or similar device now that they had learned these basic skills.
A chance to learn new skills for new opportunities
In response to requests from several of the scheme’s training partners, Rabbitte has decided to extend the scheme through the autumn and into the latter part of the year.
“I am very eager that we get the message out that this is a wonderful opportunity for people who have not yet engaged with the internet,” he said. “Here is the chance to learn the basic skills that will open all kinds of doors for you whatever your background or interests.”
The training amounts to six hours over a period of weeks and costs a nominal fee of €20, or is free in some cases. The scheme will be made available to around 40,000 people through local groups in community facilities across the country.
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