A new project to offer Galwegians, particularly the elderly and unemployed, an introduction to computer technology will be run by NUI Galway.
The university has been awarded €230,000 as part of an inter-agency collaboration that will train 4,600 people traditionally excluded from information communications technology.
The training will offer hands on practical skills in digital photography and processing, using the internet to communicate with friends and family, online banking and government services.
The project, entitled Click and Connect is part of the BenefIT 3 scheme which has awarded €1.88m for 20 training projects run by community and voluntary groups and not for profit organisations across the country. The partners include Age Action, Limerick Community Connect, DCU and NUI Galway.
Pat Byrne, lecturer with the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway and lead in the project, says classes will commence in January 2012 and information will be made available through the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway and local press.
“It is a great achievement for us and recognises the work that NUI Galway has been offering to the community and those traditionally excluded from ICT.”
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte said the scheme will provide 40,000 people with IT training between now and June 2012.
“The programme is to support those who have not yet gone on-line. In particular older people will benefit – as will an estimated 17,000 unemployed people as well as other disadvantaged groups. By supporting community and voluntary organisations to deliver this training we can ensure excellent value for money.”