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Important to boost digital skills

Published: September 9, 2016

Improving digital skills is key to ensuring all Australians benefit from the ongoing digital revolution, claims a new study.

The first Australian Digital Inclusion Index revealed there have been improvements in the digital divide within the country, but more needs to be done to ensure everyone has the right digital ability.

Based on research by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology in partnership with Telstra, the index provides an insight into the digital skills of the nation.

Centre for Social Impact director Professor Jo Barraket said: “The Australian Digital Inclusion Index is a powerful tool that will help us understand the drivers of digital inclusion and exclusion in Australia.

“Overall, the index shows that digital inclusion is growing in Australia – however inclusion is uneven and there are many Australians who are missing out on the social, health and financial benefits of being online.”

She added the study has revealed a strong digital divide between rich and poor, with those on low incomes facing significant barriers to inclusion because of a lack of key digital skills.

It is hoped the research will encourage the government to continue to invest in ensuring people are not digitally excluded and have the opportunities to develop the much needed skills.

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