Sue Kini, programme manager for Stepping UP and Spark Jump, reports on an exciting and successful year.
The Stepping UP programme was able to significantly grow over the last year thanks to funding received from the Lottery Grants Board in September 2017, by 20/20 Trust who were then running the project.
There has been a number of excellent new collaborations this financial year, which will see some pretty exciting initiatives starting to come through the pipeline.
New partnerships with the Spark Foundation, Deaf Aotearoa, the National Telehealth Service, Far North District Council, Whare Hauora and the Budget Advisory Service will mean free digital skills training and low-cost connectivity will be available to an even wider population of our community.
Of particular note is the partnership with the Spark Foundation; delivering their Spark Jump initiative. Spark Jump is a low cost pre-pay internet service using Spark’s 4G wireless network. With no contracts to sign or fixed monthly costs, families with children up to the age of 18 can connect at a cost of $10 for 30GB. Due to the Lottery Grants Board funding, 60 libraries now offer this digital service to their communities with 31 more in the planning for 2018-2019.
The Government is aiming for an average of 80% of New Zealanders’ most common government transactions to be completed online. Uptake Managers from the DIA recently met with 20/20 Trust to discuss ways the Stepping UP programme could offer more modules aimed at online government services.
The Stepping UP programme is filling a gap in the digital training sector. It offers bite sized classes in subjects pertinent to people’s everyday lives. There are not many places throughout New Zealand were you can drop in to upskill and then take your newfound knowledge back to work or home – for free!
The delivery partner and participant feedback throughout the country continues to highlight the need to expand Stepping UP further; to connect and support the rurally isolated and reach those who wouldn’t necessarily go to larger institutions to gain much needed digital skills and confidence.
It is a privilege to oversee the Stepping UP Programme and I look forward to managing its continued expansion.