WORKPLACE SKILLS: Digital Springboard is a new program delivered through community organisations and targeted at upskilling Seniors to prepare them for the future workplace.
WORKPLACE SKILLS: Digital Springboard is a new program delivered through community organisations and targeted at upskilling Seniors to prepare them for the future workplace.

Lift up to workplace digital skills

NEWLY launched, the free digital skills program Digital Springboard is helping older Australians improve their workplace and everyday life digital skills.

By 2030 about 90 per cent of all jobs will require digital skills which means gaining a reasonable level of confidence in using technology is critical to future job survival whether you are employed or volunteering.

Developed by the not-for-profit social enterprise Infoxchange and supported by Google, Digital Springboard's primary focus is on workplace skills.

Seniors who already have basic computer skills, some of which may have been gained through programs such as Be Connected or Telstra's Tech Savvy Seniors, can utilise the Digital Springboard to take the next skill step up.

"A great example is my mum who had had been working in retail for 15 years with the same organisation," Infoxchange's Social Innovation and Digital Inclusion Manager Jess Perrin explained. "She had not written a CV for 40 years because a lot of the jobs she got through word of mouth. Then she decided she want to try to get a new job. For her, being in her 60s, going through a course like How to write a CV was crucial in helping her take that next step."

There are other program courses such as Skills to boost your career or business and Skills for starting your own business.

The program is being delivered by community organisations. "We have over 50 partners nationally who have come on board as Digital Springboard delivery partners," Ms Perrin said. "It's just the beginning."

These organisations - libraries, community centres, the Smith Family, the Australian Red Cross, neighbourhood houses network - are provided with Train the Trainer skills and course resources. Each one then delivers the face-to-face training in line with their community needs such as in CALD and indigenous communities.

"In terms of the job market and everyone staying in the workforce longer, some of our content already appeals to that," Ms Perrin said. "We have courses on how to do work presentations, emails and spreadsheets. If you are moving from what has been a non-digital role, but to stay within your organisation you need to have more digital skills, these ones are a really good starting point for people to evolve in that way."

In the volunteering space, Ms Perrin uses the example of Rotary. To complement the member's business mentoring activities with refugees, Rotary has partnered with the Australian Red Cross to provide digital skills training to the mentors. They are then able to transfer that digital knowledge to the refugees.

The Infoxchange team will be at the Australian Technology Conference for Seniors to be held in Sydney on October 30 and 31 and running a Writing for social media for computer clubs.

To find a Digital Springboard course near you and for more information, go to www.digitalspringboard.org.au.


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