Shortage of advanced skills
The focus of the ‘Digital Skills for a Digital Nation’ report is on the opportunities of – and advanced skills needed by – a growing Information Technology Industry in New Zealand, and it estimates we needs annually about 10,000 more people with advanced digital technology skills than we graduate from computer studies and information technology courses.
Urgent need for universal digital literacy
The chair of the Digital Skills Forum Victoria MacLennan also said that technological changes “are also driving an urgent need for every citizen to be armed with a basic level of digital literacy, so they can continue to engage in everyday life; to pay their bills, apply for a passport or order goods.”
She notes the under-representation of women, Māori and Pasifika in the IT industry – the latter two groups are also under-represented in those with basic digital skills and home broadband connection.
|Digital skills should be treated with the same importance as numeracy and literacy.|
Importance of digital skills
Its recommendations include helping all Kiwis understand the importance of digital skills, and helping those at risk or under-represented upskill and reskill themselves for the new market needs.
As the report says “… basic digital literacy skills are now required by the entire population. These skills are needed to carry out essential functions … the House of Lords in the United Kingdom recently stated that digital skills should be treated with the same importance as numeracy and literacy.”