Partners still required by ICS Skills to provide Funded “Benef IT 4”  basic internet training

Since Sept 2013, over 2,000 people, from every corner of Ireland, have benefitted from the training provided by ICS Skills and their Partners, under the Dept of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Benefit 4 Grant Scheme.  This funding is available until the middle of May 2014 so there is still plenty of time for you to get involved in our project and hopefully make a bit of money for yourselves at the same time.

The aim of the ICS Skills Benefit 4, project is simple:

To ensure as many people as possible get onto the first step of the digital ladder and hopefully provide them with an appetite to keep on climbing!

Qualifying persons – who can be trained

For this initiative “qualifying persons” are people who have not previously engaged with the knowledge society through computer or through internet use, or those who have already acquired basic internet use skills and now wish to develop these further.

And are a member of one of the target groups below which research has shown are most likely to be excluded from the knowledge society:-


  • Older people (defined as aged 55 or over)
  • Unemployed people
  • People who have had less formal education or who have no formal qualifications
  • Disadvantaged people – which may include:- people with disabilities, those living alone – particularly in rural areas, single parents, travellers, ex-prisoners, immigrants.


Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, said: “Firstly and most importantly this initiative is about people – not leaving them behind – giving them the opportunity to engage. This concerns everyone; it’s not just about the 1 in 5 yet to embrace the internet – it is also about those who have the skills and what they can do. We should all ask ourselves how the internet could be helpful to someone we know and how we might be able to encourage or help them to get online. For those who need help – or who want to progress further – there will now be tens of thousands of training opportunities nationwide under BenefIT 4.”   

Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society said:  “As more businesses move their services online, serious challenges exist to those who are unable to do the necessary day to day activities such as banking online and paying bills. ICS Skills is committed to promoting digital literacy in Ireland and we are delighted to be able to undertake another project that can enhance the day-to-day lives of those who feel they are being left behind when it comes to the internet.” 

A participant of the Course, Claire Vaughan, said: "This course has opened up a whole new world to me. I knew that world existed but did not know how to access it. I can now email, Skype my son in Australia, shop for groceries and transfer money including paying bills on line. I also read the newspapers online and listen to the daily news at a time convenient to me. This experience has given me a whole new lease of life and boosted my confidence no end. I am no longer afraid of my laptop and now spend many hours surfing the net."

About Benefit 4

Last year, The Department of Communications Energy and Natural resources awarded €1.4m in funding for 16 training projects run by community and voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations across Ireland, including ICS Skills “Get-Ireland-Online” project, under the Benefit 4 grant scheme.

In December 2013 the Dept announced there would be an extension of the grant until May 2014, this meant the continuation of the highly successful “Get Ireland Online” programme until then. Since the 6thJanuary, when the second phase commenced, almost 1,000 people have been enrolled in basic internet training courses all over Ireland.

If you are interested in getting involved please call Ciara on 01 2377777 or email ciara@ics.iefor further information.