FIT and UPC Ireland support digital inclusion for Get Online Week

21 Mar 2013

Helen Mahon and Helen Johnston from Fast Track to IT demonstrate UPC's Internet Buttons at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Dublin. Photo via Conor McCabe Photography

Twenty-three per cent of Europeans have never accessed the internet, according to Eurostat figures from 2012. That’s why this week is Get Online Week, a Europe-wide initiative from Telecentre-Europe to support people in exploring the internet.

This year, Get Online Week is focusing on young people who may already be online but lack the knowledge required to really take advantage of this resource. Peter Davitt, CEO of the Fast-track to IT (FIT) initiative, said, “It is vital for Ireland and for Europe to increase the number of our young people engaging with digital enterprises and, ultimately, studying technology. FIT is delighted to support Get Online Week and hope that it results in more young people getting realistic views of IT studies and careers.”

UPC Ireland is supporting the 2013 campaign theme of ‘My Online Journey’ with educational materials on digital skills for first-time users and intergenerational learning, as well as resources for children and young people online.

Internet Buttons

The internet service provider is also using this week to promote its Internet Buttons web tool, which simplifies web use for those that might struggle with performing tasks online.

“Internet Buttons is at the heart of UPC’s Digital Inclusion Programme and is central to Get Online Week,” said Anna-Maria Barry, public relations manager for UPC Ireland. “Twenty-one per cent* of Irish people never use the internet and UPC wants to tackle this by getting new users to ‘press your buttons’. Our experience with Internet Buttons shows that everybody can benefit from the digital economy and achieve their personal goals.”

To use Internet Buttons, users can visit the website and set up a page of simple buttons linking to sites and services they may use frequently.

* Eurostat figure for year-end 2011. Eighteen per cent of Irish people had reportedly never accessed the internet by year-end 2012. For more information on internet use in Europe, see this report.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.