Qatar is committed to deliver and ensure ICT technologies to all segments of its population, particularly migrant workers in their accommodations across the country, said HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi on Monday.

He was speaking during a visit to the Asian Town's Labour City where a function was held to coincide with the country reaching the halfway mark of the Ministry of Transport and Communication's (MoTC) ambitious Better Connections programme (of the ICT facilities) at workers' accommodations.

Migrant workers are seen using computers at the 750th lab at one of the accommodations in the Asian Town's Labour City.

Dr al-Nuaimi, along with the International Trade Union Confederation secretary-general Sharan Burrow inaugurated the 750th Better Connections computer lab for workers. The ICT facilities in workers accommodations are scheduled to touch 1,500 labs next year.

While complimenting the efforts made by the stakeholders, including the MoTC, employers, contributors of computers and other equipment to the accommodations and volunteers who helped enhance the digital capabilities of the migrant workers, al-Nuaimi said what is important at this stage is not the QR180mn spending on the digital enhancement programme but are those benefits the workers have derived from the ambitious project.

"The country is continuing its efforts to reach out to all segments of the population to ensure they have access and skills to use technology and everyone is able to able to participate and benefit from Qatar's growing knowledge and information society."

MoTC assistant secretary Reem al-Mansouri said the programme is part of the country's Digital Development Strategy under which there has been a steady improvement in the last four years in the digital skills of the migrant workers residing in the accommodations where such facilities are provided.

She said more than 350 employers have provided ICT facilities to their migrant workforce and over 9,000 used but reusable computers were supplied by their earlier users, including children of some of the schools. More than 7,500 were enrolled in the green computer clubs formed at the country's schools for spreading awareness on the digital issues and over a 1,000 people came forward voluntarily to familiarise the workers with the use of computers in as many as 10 languages.

While recalling the remarkable improvement in enhancing the digital skills of the workers, the MoTC official recalled that when the project was floated in 2014, the Better Communication services were available only at two labs at accommodations across the country. Last year, the figure crossed 200 and now the facilities are extended to 750 labs.

Inquiries with the ministry officials and trainers found anywhere between 10 and 35 computer terminals were provided to workers at each of the 750 labs. Authorities expect the figure to reach 1,500 by the middle of next year. It was also informed on the occasion that training was provided to the workers in five languages widely spoken among the country's residents. Vodafone Qatar has provided 1,500 Internet connections as part of the project.

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