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900 Get Broadband Ready

University of Ballarat’s Centre for eCommerce and Communications has confirmed learning about broadband technology is an emerging priority for a large number of businesses in Ballarat and the Central Highland’s region. Workshop and mentoring session attendances at Digital Enterprise training activities managed through the Centre are set to exceed 900 by the end of June 2013.

The free training sessions, made available with funding provided by the Australian Government, commenced in September 2012. Contributing financial and in-kind support has also come from Local and State Government. Workshops and individual practical mentoring sessions on topics such as DIY Website, Social Media and eMarketing have been popular, attracting record number of attendances.

Project manager Gerrie Carr-MacFie advises participants from across the region have included small to big businesses, community groups and local charities.

“Demand for training is being fuelled by the imminent arrival of improved broadband service. There is definitely an increased understanding that the internet is rapidly changing the way we do business,” said Carr-MacFie.

She also counts the use of local facilitators and experts speaking on relevant topics as major factors in the strong attendance figures.

“In conducting this project University of Ballarat has capitalised on internal resources and tapped into local expertise. We have co-operative relationships with Neighbourhood Houses from Daylesford, Clunes and Creswick, to Haddon and Meredith. It’s about delivering what is wanted, where it is convenient, through trusted local experts.”

The Centre predicts attendance numbers will continue to rise. With a further twelve months of funding for training  secured, a suite of new Digital Enterprise small group training activities have been planned.

“We will continue to offer higher level workshops for sophisticated users, through to smaller hands-on sessions for the not so technically savvy,” advises Carr-MacFie.

“New users of mobile technology can book ‘Toys for Boys’ or ‘Gadgets for Girls’. Businesses wanting help back-of- house can register for individual sessions from ‘Everything Microsoft’ and ‘Get Webbed’, to our popular internet security and hardware consultation ‘Digi BIZHealth Check’. Our offering reflects market trends with an emphasis on rural enterprises and the changing nature of broadband use.”

Businesses and community groups can register to attend the free training activities www.digibiz.net.au

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