The Get Online Centre, a dedicated space for developing digital skills and awareness, opened on 9 January 2023.
The new Centre is part of Isle of Man Government initiative to reduce digital exclusion, and is based in the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal.
The aim is to improve access and confidence in digital services by providing free access to computers and training to develop digital skills, learning to use devices and be safe online.
Training and support will be provided by friendly in-house trainers, in a separate training room, helping learners understand the benefits of being online and showing them how to complete a range of simple activities that can make a huge difference.
The centre will offer both one-to-one and group sessions on topics like internet security, improving Microsoft Office skills, shopping online, getting started with email and using Skype.
Organisations are also invited to book the training room for digital inclusion related activities such as training or awareness raising events, to help promote digital inclusion on the Island.
Cabinet Office Political Member with responsibility for Digital Inclusion, Mrs Diane Kelsey MLC, said:
‘The new Get Online Centre is a key part of our work to tackle digital exclusion. There are many benefits to services being provided online, and there has been a global shift towards this over the last few years, but not everyone is comfortable or confident in accessing services that way.
‘We understand that not everyone wants to 'get online’, but it is vital that Island residents are not disadvantaged in accessing services or deals, or in using the Internet for socialising or entertainment. The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of being online to reduce isolation and keep in touch with friends or family through chat, email and video.
‘Everyone has different needs when it comes to digital skills and we want to be flexible in our approach. We’ll continue to review the provision, including looking at remote training or other locations in the future. The friendly team would encourage people to get in touch on 685224, to discuss their requirements.’
From the 9 January the centre opened for walk-ins, for residents to use devices or discuss their personal needs. Specific training sessions will also be available to book from this date – through the website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 685224. The website will be updated throughout January with details of courses, three months in advance.
Government employees can also book hot desks or the training room for meetings. Find out more on the Get Online webpage.