The Unlimited Potential course aims to give computer skills to people in New Zealand who may never have had the chance before. The course sponsors – the Government and Microsoft – hopes that local communities will be revitalised as a result.
Minister for the Community, Winnie Laban says new skills can lead to new jobs and creative alternatives to dead-end employment. Microsoft NZ Managing Director Ross Peat says the examples of countries like Ireland and Singapore have already shown what happens when a population has crossed the digital divide. Some of the pilot schemes have been very solidly based in the local communities, with Microsoft providing network equipment, PCs and software to enable the training to be carried out actually in the community rather than elsewhere. The technology and the software provide opportunities for people to realise their potential, and can transform lives.