January 4, 2021

Digital Skills for Employment | Australian Industry & Skills Committee

by codingworkshop

What are the digital skills required for employment?

With the explosion of technology, there is a critical skills gap especially in what The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) has defined as 'priority skills' with digital skills being flagged as very important and a priority for many industries. Such digital skills can include:

  • coding and programming
  • developing and using robotic and automation technologies
  • leveraging information and communication technologies (ITC) skills in business
  • exploring the world of cloud computing and the Internet of Things

What are the Industry Skills Needs?

Generic Skills

AISC established an Industry 4.0 Industry Reference Committee (IRC) to help ensure vocational education and training gives students the 'future-focused' skills they will need as workplaces become transformed by increasing technology, automation and digitalisation.

The IRC in their 2019 Skills Forecasts ranked a series of 12 generic skill categories, in priority order as follows:

  1. Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self-management
  2. Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence
  3. Design mindset / Thinking critically / Systems thinking / Problem solving
  4. Technology use and application skills
  5. Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills
  6. Managerial / Leadership skills
  7. Customer service / Marketing skills
  8. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) skills
  9. Data analysis skills
  10. Financial skills
  11. Environmental sustainability skills
  12. Entrepreneurial skills

What stood out from these generic skills was the Technology use and application skills which align with digital skills ranked 4th out of the 12 across all skills forecasts.

Priority Skills

The 2019 Skills Forecasts identified digital skills as priority skills by industries. 

Industry identified digital skills can be split into two main areas:

1. Digital skills relating to industry specific software or technology, identified by the following industries:

  • Business Services
  • Electricity Supply Generation
  • Electricity Supply Transmission, Distribution and Rail
  • Furnishing
  • Process Manufacturing (PMA)

2. General digital skills and literacy, identified by the following industries:

  • Correctional Services
  • Forestry and Wood Products
  • Gas
  • Maritime
  • Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure
  • Rail
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Water
What is Data Literacy?

Data literacy is the ability to derive meaningful insights from data. 

Workers across the Business Services sector have access to more and more data, with a growing emphasis being placed on data-driven decision making.

What is Digital Competency?

Digital competency - including skills relating to: cyber security and use of technology to perform tasks. A digitally competent person is able to use new and emerging platforms and digital technologies in a business environment.

As the Business Services sector becomes increasingly digitally-enabled, broad digital competence becomes imperative for the workforce.

Source: Australian Industry and Skills Committee, Digital Skills

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