Digital technology and the internet have become an essential part of modern life in a short time. Being connected and getting online has brought many benefits, but at the same time, it has left many people behind. People may not have the digital skills or confidence to perform everyday tasks online, like online banking, connecting with friends and family, or streaming TV shows. Age is one of the common reasons for this.
During COVID-19, governments fast-tracked online services, leaving many Australians at risk of missing crucial services and supports for a good life.
We want everyone to be able to benefit from technology, whether it’s for education, employment, finances, or skill development. This initiative aims to train 1,500 community service workers from partner organisations to support their clients to get online safely and improve their digital skills and knowledge.
We will use an approach known as the train-the-trainer model. The WA Digital Inclusion Project Team will use co-design with partner organisations and their community clients to find the gaps and provide training where it will have the most impact.
This process will be completed by the end of 2022. The Project team will develop a training program using this information and valuable information from State and Federal governments and not-for-profit organisations. The program will be tested in a pilot program in early 2023 before training the trainers in our partner organisations.
During this project, our project team will assist partner organisations to train around 1,500 front-line workers and provide them with ongoing resources and training materials to support their clients in the community.
Over 11% of people in Western Australia are “highly digitally excluded”. This means they don’t have the digital skills to use a device or navigate the internet and are unable to take part in a society that is increasingly digital.
Initiative 2 aims to uplift the digital skills of front-line community service workers and raise awareness of digital inclusion. This will help build community members’ confidence and skills so they too can benefit from the digital world.
These benefits can include connecting with friends and family online to reduce loneliness, shopping or banking online, or accessing Government services through MyGov.
Throughout this project, we aim to assist partner organisations to make a significant impact on 45,000 people in the community. This will be achieved through trained support workers and through the resources available on the WA Digital Inclusion Project website.
We aim to ensure that the WA Digital Inclusion Project is sustainable on an ongoing basis. To do this, we are exploring the accreditation of our training program at a registered training organisation such as TAFE.
We are currently in the planning phase to create a training program for digitally excluded community members. The goal is to provide them with a recognised qualification to support their employment, mentoring, volunteering, and social inclusion.
Once we complete the accreditation process, the WA Digital Inclusion Project will offer 100 scholarships to members of the community who are digitally excluded.