Championing digital capability for all Australians

The Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance (ADIA) and the Future Skills Organisation (FSO) welcome the Australian Government’s recognition of the Australian Digital Capability Framework (ADCF) as Australia’s national common language on digital capability.

As outlined in Working Future: The Australian Government’s White Paper on Jobs and Opportunities, the ADCF describes the broad digital capabilities required by the Australian workforce:

This will create a common language and collaboration on the implementation of digital skills for the VET reform pathways and help build the digital capability of the nation’s workforce. Using common, easily understood language, and a simple, intuitive structure, the Framework is helping to align and strengthen a wide variety of efforts to build the digital capability of the nation’s workforce (Working Future p. 208).

The recognition of the ADCF echoes the calls of both the ADIA and FSO, who have been jointly advocating for the adoption of the ADCF – extended to cover the most foundational digital capabilities – as Australia’s common language around what it means to be digitally capable.

The ADIA and FSO are proposing a program of work focused on uplifting digital capability in Australia including collaborative work with a range of stakeholders, seeking to gain consensus on a Digital Capability Benchmark for access to work, learning and life, anchored in the ADCF. Articulating this common benchmark will be critical in galvanising efforts across a range of organisations and sectors to significantly improve on current levels of digital ability.

ADIA Convenor, Ishtar Vij, said the Government’s recognition of the ADCF was a significant step in bridging the digital divide:

“In 2020 the ADIA published a National Digital Inclusion Roadmap which identified that while a lot of good work was happening in the sector, efforts were fragmented, uncovering over 100 different digital inclusion programs.”

“The lack of a common language around digital capability was found to be a significant barrier to progress, and this presents an opportunity to align efforts and measure success” Ms Vij said.

FSO CEO, Patrick Kidd, added:

“With a projected 370,000 digital worker shortfall for Australia by 2026, uplifting digital capability must be a national priority right across the spectrum, from those taking their first steps into the digitally enabled world, right through to those making up the pipeline of talent required for technical roles”.

Organisations and individuals wishing to be involved in stakeholder consultation are invited to sign up via the FSO website.