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Digital Inclusion Minister To Visit Leading Projects In North West June 18, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Education, Liverpool, Policy, Technology, World Wide Web.
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On Thursday 19 June, Digital Inclusion Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies MP will visit two leading digital inclusion projects in Liverpool and St Helens. The so-called “digital divide” is increasingly seen as a major barrier to personal, community and regional economic well-being in the UK, which is the least skilled workforce in the EU. Mr Irranca-Davies’ visit will include:

  • The AIMES Community Grid project. Acknowledged as a leader in its field, AIMES is leading the Digital Inclusion & Enterprise Programme (DIEP), established as a result of the Government’s 2007 “Digital Challenge”. Mr Irranca-Davies will visit St Cuthbert’s Catholic Community College for Business & Enterprise in St Helens where pupils and parents have been using the managed computing service provided by the Community Grid project since May 2007. As part of the wider DIEP, strategically supported by the GMDDA, AIMES will provide access for around 5,000 homes in the Greater Merseyside region via the Community Grid system over a 2 year period from May 2008.
  • The EverybodyOnline Liverpool 8 project is another highly successful digital inclusion initiative focusing on internet and digital technology support for parents. It includes use of the internet, and day-to-day skills such as shopping and banking online, and email. Mr Irranca-Davies will visit a PACT (Parents & Children Together) session at South Liverpool Personnel in Liverpool to speak to users direct.

Mr Irranca-Davies’ visit underlines the importance placed on the Digital Inclusion agenda at Parliamentary level, as Professor Dennis Kehoe, Director of AIMES, explains: “Digital inclusion is a crucial enabler of economic regeneration and growth. Internet access can transform cities and communities, providing improved access to employment, education and health information. The internet can also help to combat isolation and increase a sense of community. We’re delighted to be able to demonstrate our digital inclusion work to Mr Irranca-Davies in person.”

The AIMES digital inclusion project provides a fully managed internet access service to users, a key element in its success and sustainability. AIMES and its technology partner, e-communications specialist OciusB2, provide broadband internet access, a range of software packages, all equipment required, plus training and support to users of the Community Grid. The first 125 homes are now live and for the first 12 months, the service is provided free of charge.

More information here.


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