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Upskilling older people to become tech savvy 

Upskilling older people to become tech savvy 

  • 17 Apr 2023
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(Picture caption: More of our Pacific aiga will benefit with the expansion of the Office for Seniors' digital literacy training for seniors programme.) 

Introducing more older people to online digital training is the goal of six providers in an initiative driven by the Office for Seniors and supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP). 

Digital training providers Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, 2020 Communications Trust, Moana Connect, 360 Tautua, Takiri Mai Te Ata Trust and Age Concern Auckland will deliver essential digital skills courses for up to 5,000 learners around the country. 

Minister for Seniors Hon Ginny Andersen says Budget 2022 allocated $1.341 million over three years for the Office for Seniors to expand its award-winning digital literacy training for seniors programme. 

“Being online is increasingly important for participation in modern life, but as many as one in four older people do not access the internet regularly,” Minister Andersen says. 

“This new funding is particularly targeted to deliver digital skills training in a way that works for diverse groups of older people, including older Māori, Pacific and East Asian people.”  

Barriers to digital inclusion can include a lack of access to devices or connections, the skills needed to use them or mistrust of the online environment and the programmes focus on supporting older people to develop the skills to get online safely and confidently, Minister Anderson adds. 

To help address barriers to accessing devices, the Office for Seniors has partnered with MPP to deliver up to 450 computers in support of digital training for older Pacific people. 

The Office has also been supported by the Ministry of Social Development to maximise the programme’s reach to this community. 

This expanded three-year programme includes funding for robust evaluation of the training.

Māori and Pacific people aged 55 and over can access the free training due to challenges faced such as experiencing significant health issues sooner than others. 

Other seniors can access the free training aged 65 and over. 

Visit the Office for Seniors’ website for more information.