The just released 2021 Australian Digital Inclusion Index shows that 1 in 4 Australians are digitally “excluded” and 11% of Australians are “highly excluded” from digital life. Those being left behind include mobile-only users, people over 75 years, people who did not complete secondary school, people who rent from a public housing authority, or fall into the lowest income quintile (bottom 20%). Affordability remains central to closing the digital divide, with 14% of Australians needing to pay more than 10% of their household income to gain quality, reliable connectivity.
The launch of “Get Online Week” by the Good Things Foundation underscores the importance of digital access.
“The updated digital inclusion index shows that Australia, while improving, still has a long way to go. Adult and community education providers have an important role in reaching people who are digitally ‘excluded’ from Australian society through programs such as NSW Tech Savvy Seniors, and the ability to conduct outreach to the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups detailed in the CCA recent report on vulnerable and disadvantaged students in New South Wales,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of CCA.
“The CCA report shows that ACE providers out-perform all other training providers in the engagement of people from lowest incomes: 64.2% of government-funded ACE training in NSW is delivered to the most disadvantaged students (the bottom two SEIFA quintiles), compared to 46.2% TAFE & government providers, 52.3% private for-profits and 50.9% other VET providers,” said Dr Perlgut.