Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall today launched a new digital literacy program to be delivered by Victoria’s Learn Local adult and community education providers.
The Intel Easy Steps program will provide a consistent approach to improving levels of digital literacy across the state, helping individuals to learn basic computer applications, such as email and word processing, internet search, multimedia, and basic social media skills.
This year, around 7,000 individuals are expected to enrol in digital literacy courses through the state’s network of about 300 Learn Local providers.
Mr Hall said digital literacy skills had become essential for individuals to be able to participate fully in today’s knowledge-based society.
“These skills improve how people connect in their everyday lives and they are increasingly a pre-requisite for doing our jobs,” Mr Hall said.
Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showing gaps in levels of computer ownership, internet usage and the web presence of businesses, the digital literacy shortfall in Victoria could be estimated at over one million people aged 15 years and over.
Following an extensive trial of digital literacy programs that would help address this shortfall, the Intel Easy Steps program was selected because of its flexibility and proven effectiveness.
The Intel Easy Steps program was designed for adults with little or no computer experience and offers a 20 hour pre-accredited course option, which will be adapted by Learn Local organisations to meet local needs.
“Unlike the majority of young people who are digital natives, the older generation, myself included, who did not grow up with computers understandably require assistance when engaging with technologies which are not second nature to us,” Mr Hall said.
Intel Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Kate Burleigh said more than one million people worldwide had undergone the training.
“This translates to a sense of self-sufficiency for each of these individuals, arming them with the skills necessary in our fast-paced world. We’re really looking forward to seeing this roll out in Victoria,” Ms Burleigh said.
"It will provide a new resource for designated e-Mentors and e-Champions, who have been working with Learn Local organisations since 2008 in an effort to boost digital literacy across the state,” Mr Hall said.
“Supporting digital literacy in Learn Local settings through the Intel Easy Steps program provides a unique opportunity to make a difference to Victorians, who will be developing the skills necessary for participation in a modern economy,” Mr Hall said.
Mr Hall and Ms Burleigh launched the program today at Melbourne’s Centre for Adult Education.
There are around 300 Learn Local organisations across Victoria delivering training to more than 95,000 learners a year.
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