Microsoft will give $800,000 in funds and $400,000 worth of software over the next three years to support IT skills training programmes run by the 20/20 Trust and partners in New Zealand.
The trust is behind the Computers in Homes programme, which provides a computer, internet connection and training for low income families. Microsoft’s funding will support 4800 families who have been through the Computers in Homes scheme, to receive further training from the Trust and regional associates.
The training is provided under the Stepping UP:ICT for a better future programme, which this year will focus on Porirua, Wanganui and Gisborne. Other regions to be included in the scheme over the next three years are Wairoa, Northland, South Auckland, the South Island’s West Coast and the Ngati Porou East Coast region of the North Island. The 20/20 Trust also launched the Computers in Homes 100,000 Challenge, which aims to get 100,000 families connected with IT systems. 20/20 Trust chair Earl Mardle says it is trying to make the ‘digital divide’ a thing of the past.
Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, announces the ‘Stepping UP:ICT for a better future’ programme and the 100,000 Challenge at Parliament last week. Photo: Hamish Trounson.
Microsoft New Zealand managing director Kevin Ackhurst, Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Communications and Information Technology; Earl Mardle and Laurence Zwimpfer of the 20/20 Communications Trust at the Stepping UP:ICT for a better future, and the 100,000 Challenge programme launch, held at Parliament. Photo: Hamish Trounson.