Digital skills support for everyone
It is not enough to have access to technology – everyone also needs to have the skills and confidence to use it.
Not everyone in Australia has the access and digital skills they need to fully participate in society – but together, we can change this. Community-led digital skills support puts the solution in the hands of local communities, providing essential digital skills for people who need them most.
Our Blueprint to Close the Digital Divide calls for:
- Funding and expansion of a nationally coordinated, community-led digital skills support program
- Funding and support for targeted digital skills programs for those most at risk of digital exclusion
- Embedding of digital skills support into existing government programs for vulnerable Australians.
Creating capable Australians through expanded local digital skills support
It is not enough to have access to technology. Everyone also needs to have the skills and confidence to use their digital devices and the internet. As Australia becomes a leading digital nation, it is critical that everyone has the digital ability and confidence to participate in work, study, and connect with friends, family and essential services online.
Good Things Foundation Australia makes an impact nationally by capacity building, distributing grants and empowering our network of 3,500 community organisations to deliver digital inclusion programs in their local communities.
Community-led delivery has been shown to be highly-effective when it comes to providing essential digital skills support. An evaluation of the Be Connected program for Australians aged over 50 showed that the delivery of digital inclusion programs through community organisations results in participants improving their digital skills, confidence, safety and social connection.
It is vital that digital support is within easy reach for all Australians – in every city, town and community across the country.
The national community-led digital skills program Be Connected for older Australians has engaged one million learners in under five years, creating $4.01 in social value for every $1 invested. Expanding this essential skills program or creating a similar network-based program for people of all ages will enrich the lives of even more Australians and could deliver even greater social return on investment.
Uplifting those most at risk of digital exclusion
Alongside a national digital skills program for the general population, federally-funded, tailored digital skills programs for those most at risk of digital exclusion are needed to ensure no one is left behind.
Community delivery ensures this flexibility, allowing for accessible, in-culture and in-language support in a trusted environment. The funding and expansion of tailored digital skills support via community delivery is needed for priority groups, including women returning to the workforce, low income families, people with low English literacy, new refugees and migrants and people with disability.
Read more about the impact of our tailored community-led digital skills programs below.
Our digital inclusion programs
There are opportunities to embed digital inclusion solutions into existing support programs and government initiatives to make sure those at higher risk are not left behind in the transition a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy. This includes support for:
- New migrants and refugees: Digital devices and in-language digital mentoring need to be integrated into existing migrant programs and settlement services, such as the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Humanitarian Settlement Program.
- People with disability: Access to technology and funding to support digital literacy, needs to be available as part of every NDIS plan for adults with disability.
- Jobseekers: Existing employability skills programs are offered through community-based providers, who are supported and upskilled accordingly, to support people to be job-ready for the digital economy. This recommendation falls in line with the Productivity Commission finding that foundational work-ready digital literacy programs need to be delivered through community adult education alongside traditional education.
Read more about our recommendations to embed digital inclusion support into existing programs for those most at-risk.
Supporting the digital inclusion of new migrants and refugees
This report examines digital inclusion and exclusion for newly arrived migrants and refugees in Australia.
Bridging the digital divide for people with intellectual disability: Roundtable Report
Our recommendations on how to close the digital divide for people with intellectual disability.
Delivery of the SEE Program 2023 submission
Our recommendations on the delivery of Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program.
Blueprint to close Australia’s digital divide
Read more on how we can work together to close Australia's digital divide for all, for good.
Blueprint to close Australia’s digital divide
Our recommendations on how we can work together to close Australia's digital divide for all, for good.
National digital inclusion strategy
To close Australia’s digital divide and become a world-leading digital economy, National Digital Inclusion Strategies are necessary.
Affordable access for all
Affordable access remains a key barrier for many Australians to be digitally included.
Let's make a difference
To close Australia's digital divide for all, greater investment and collaboration across government, industry, philanthropy and the community sectors is essential. Get in contact with us to discuss how we can work together to help close Australia's digital divide.Contact us