IIA launches digital inclusion campaign to Digitise the Nation
Joan Mulvihill from the IIA, Minister Pat Rabbitte and RaboDirect marketing manager Martin O'Leary

IIA launches digital inclusion campaign to Digitise the Nation

17 Jul 2012

The Irish Internet Association (IIA) is sending a bright orange mobile training unit to a town near you as a new campaign to Digitise the Nation takes to the road to bring basic digital skills to everyone in Ireland.

The Digitise the Nation roadshow will be paying visits to towns across Ireland for the next year, encouraging people to get on board and get online.

“The IIA is wholly committed to ensuring that online is for everyone,” said Joan Mulvihill, CEO of the IIA. “It is our job and indeed our passion, to promote internet adoption not just to businesses but to everyone; old, young, rural and urban.”

Basic skills training

With the mobile unit, the IIA aims to train more than 2,000 people in basic digital skills, like how to use email and VoIP, how to find value and save money online, and how to search for jobs, news and information online. The training will also help novice users build their confidence in computing.

“At its core, the internet is about community, inclusivity, communication and access,” said Mulvihill. “It has the power to bring people together, to share experiences, to access the world in a new way; communicating with family and friends, accessing news, jobs, getting value for money, finding useful facts and even trivial ones.”

Sponsored support

This nationwide campaign has been made possible by the contributions of the IIA’s member companies and the support of its sponsors.

“We’re delighted to support this initiative which will help ensure that no one in the community is left behind when it comes to having the skills and ‘know how’ to go online,” said Tim Bicknell, general manager of the campaign’s chief sponsor, RaboDirect, which has noted that Irish people of all ages are increasingly moving online for their for banking, shopping and information needs.

RaboDirect and fellow campaign sponsors Microsoft, Independent.ie and Bonkers.ie will all play an integral role in the provision of this digital skills training.

A valuable addition to national efforts

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD – whose department also supported the project through a BenefIT 3 grant – was also at the launch.

“Digitise the Nation – using this mobile unit – will be a valuable addition to national efforts to engage more people because it will bring basic and very practical computer skills training right to people in their own locality,” he said.

“I applaud this initiative as a further welcome example of how private industry can support digital engagement and skills training,” he added.

Those interested in Digitise the Nation training can visit the website to find out about dates and locations or contact the campaign organisers to arrange training in their area.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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