Solidarity between generations: technical support at telecentres

Student at work in a telecentre

The Association of Danish Senior Citizens runs more than 180 telecentres located across the entire country. More than 1000 volunteer instructors have to maintain more than 2000 IT devices such as computers, printers, internet connections, projectors and other machines.

This is a huge job. Few instructors are trained to maintain and install technical equipment. For most NGOs, money is tight and they cannot afford the service of professional companies.

Partnership with vocational schools

Educating young people is very important. In Denmark the education of IT support staff and programmers is conducted at a TEC (a vocational college). As part of the graduation process, each student has to complete a six month apprenticeship with a company. However, many companies find it expensive and time consuming to employ these young people. It is therefore difficult for these students to find apprenticeships.   

The Association of Danish Senior Citizens has entered into a partnership with the Technical Colleges (TECs) whereby students are attached to the telecentres as technical support staff.

It is a huge job for the elderly
to maintain the telecentre

Win-win for both generations

It benefits both parties – the young technicians are given the necessary practical training in order to complete their education and the telecentres have free IT support and installation assistance on a regular basis.   Through this arrangement, the technicians are able to experience what a normal working environment would be like.

This encounter between generations appears to work well. The young know all about computers and the latest technological developments, the elderly have worldly experience - many still have access to the business world and often are able to help the young with advice and/or their careers.

The benefits for the local telecentres are many. Not only are there considerable savings, the services they provide wouldn't be possible otherwise. This set up means that any breakdowns are expediently dealt with. The service level enjoyed by the elderly is considerable and the benefits to the society are significant.

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