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They’re putting the IT into Kaiti

Moves are under way to boost the digital know-how of Gisborne’s older residents — and boost youth employment opportunities through the expansion of a volunteer trust.

About 30 people turned up to the first of two open days at Tairawhiti Technology Trust’s new premises this week to find out about new, expanded offerings.

Technology trust chairwoman Polly Crawford said the trust had now moved into newly renovated premises at Kaiti Mall, following weeks of hard work from volunteers.

“Our mission really, is to connect the Tairawhiti with technology. We have 25-plus computers and we will try to have courses both morning and afternoon.”

First established in 2012, to deliver the Computers in Homes programme, the trust would now be run as a course provider, “putting the IT into Kaiti”, she said.

Courses offered would include an introductory 10-week “taster” course for people who had never used a computer, along with more advanced courses. There would also be courses to teach people about social media, online banking and how to transfer music from CDs.

A $5 a session fee would apply.

From Monday it will be open to the public every weekday from 10am to 2.30pm.

“Previously, we were only open for one-and-a-half days a week. We have decided, now we have this beautiful place, we will be opening every week day.”

Mrs Crawford said being open five days a week meant there would be room for courses the trust had never run before, one for mothers and daughters, as well as a whakapapa course to ensure memories of the older generation could be shared digitally to younger generations.

“We’ve been looking at this for some time as a way of bringing the youth and kaumatua together. If we can learn from each other, then that has to be a good thing.”

As well, a tutor would be on hand to help people access online training courses, and learn website creation and Xero cloud accounting software.

There would also be a trained teacher providing Cisco courses, which were designed for computer technicians.

Those courses, designed by US computer giant Cisco usually cost $600 per course but those registered with the technology trust could access them for just $5 a session.

Mrs Crawford said the courses were a proven pathway into high-paying jobs.

For more information call Polly Crawford on 021 258 2474 or email barnzandpolly@gmail.com

KNOW-HOW: Tairawhiti Technology Trust chairwoman Polly Crawford with trust tutor Tena Baker, volunteer Helena Mill and trustee Carolyn Carpendale. Picture by Liam Clayton