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Encourage seniors to have digital skills

Seniors are being encouraged to enhance their digital skills during Get Online Week by enrolling in technology training programs across NSW.

Acting Minister for Seniors Geoff Lee said being skilled in an increasingly digital world is vital for our seniors to stay connected with their family and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While our NSW seniors are better connected than ever, with more than 70 percent accessing the internet daily, we want all older people to have the chance to go digital,” Mr Lee said.

“NSW Seniors Card statistics show more than half the state’s older residents use smartphones, tablets or laptops but need help to upskill in social media interaction with family and friends.”

Participating libraries and community colleges are now taking enrolments for low-cost or free training through the NSW Government’s Tech Savvy Seniors program.

Tech Savvy Seniors offers a range of courses including a basic introduction to using tablets, computers, smartphones, email or social media.

The NSW Government’s partnership with Telstra has ensured thousands of people over 60 have completed training at more than 180 locations across the state.

Telstra’s Principal for Strategy and Inclusion Michael Parks said Tech Savvy Seniors is part of Telstra’s commitment to helping all Australians enjoy the benefits of being connected and engaged with digital technology.

“Telstra’s Australian Digital Inclusion Index research found age is a significant influence on digital inclusion in New South Wales. Seniors, or those aged over 65, are the largest digitally excluded group. Tech Savvy Seniors is a way to help address that,” Mr Parks said.

“Being confident in digital technologies can help break down social barriers, save money, and open up new learning and engagement opportunities for Seniors in their golden years.”

Courses can be also be delivered in Auslan and offered in a range of languages including Arabic, Assyrian, Cantonese, Hindi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

“Even if seniors have little or no digital experience they can join fun and practical classes to develop the skills and confidence to benefit from technology,” Mr Lee said.

Social inclusion is a key priority of the NSW Ageing Strategy, part of the NSW Government’s commitment to meeting the needs of our ageing population.