During the year work started on the development of the first action plan to implement our national strategy for our ageing population, Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019-2034
The action plan
focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on older people. It presents a range of actions to respond to three priority areas within the wider objectives of the strategy by 2024:
- digital inclusion
Initial actions were developed in 2019, in the lead up to the action plan. Most of these have progressed well, and this has maintained momentum and focus on giving effect to the strategy.
Employment for seniors
The action plan will focus on those who are aged 50 or over, a small but significant number of whom have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. Actions will focus on supporting older workers to use their skills and experience and enabling employers to build a resilient, multigenerational workforce.
The impacts of digital exclusion were highlighted during the lockdown, with many older people struggling to access essential services and stay connected. The action plan will focus on enabling older people to embrace technology as the world moves increasingly online – and ensuring those not online can still access the services they need day-to-day.
The Digital Literacy Training for Seniors programme was recognised as the best Asia Pacific Smart City project under the Education category of the IDC 2021 Smart City Asia Pacific Awards in May 2021. This award acknowledges the collaborative effort between the Office for Seniors, which is funding the training programme, and its contractors Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa and the 20/20 Trust.
By 30 June 2021 over 1,000 older people had benefited from this initiative. Self-assessments indicated that basic skills had improved significantly.
We are working to create a page on the Office for Seniors website as a single point of information for digital literacy training providers that use the Essential Digital Skills (EDS) evaluation framework. This will enable:
- older people to find providers who are partnering with the Office to provide quality EDS digital literacy training programmes
- providers to collaborate with other training providers
- potential partnership opportunities, including private funding of providers that can deliver consistent and good quality training outcomes and measures.
The Office is working on signing up training providers and engaging stakeholders who could partner with or fund providers who are using the EDS framework.
Housing for seniors
The rate of homeownership is declining and a small but growing number of older people have difficulty in finding secure, affordable and safe long-term housing. The action plan will focus on housing that meets the specific needs of older people and allows them to age in place.