Digital Capability: escaping poverty
Digital Capability – escaping poverty and building for our future
20/20 Trust today released the
Digital Inclusion Manifesto: All New Zealanders have
affordable access to the internet and the skills
and confidence to use digital technologies for learning, for work and for life.
Our research has shown that digital
skills provide a unique stepping stone to escape from
poverty by improving employment and
earning capacity. In 2016/17, 21% of participants in the Trust’s digital literacy programmes secured a job within 12 months.
Many other factors make digital inclusion essential for our nation’s future:
· There are still 120,000 children in year four and above without access to the internet at home
· Government’s new target that
80% of the transactions be fully digital by 2021 is
challenging, since many digitally
excluded people are high users of government services
· Businesses are in a productivity recession, with GDP per capita flat for the last five years
· Recent research has
revealed that 50% of New Zealanders in employment recognise
that they need more digital skills to
guarantee future employability
The Manifesto sets out eight goals covering:
ü Full participation in the digital world.
ü Equitable access to digital technologies
ü Support to access the internet and develop the necessary skills
ü Future-focused digital learning opportunities
ü School leavers with work-ready digital skills
ü Increased productivity for NZ businesses from digitally skilled staff
ü Digital skills for a healthy lifestyle
ü Seniors connected with their families and communities.
According to 20/20 Trust Chair, Laurence
Millar, there is widespread community support for these
goals, but few government-funded
programmes specifically address New Zealand’s digital divide. “It is often incorrectly assumed that because everyone seems to have
a mobile digital device that they are ‘digitally literate’”, he said. “Our Manifesto calls on government to prioritise digital
inclusion and skills as a core element of all its programmes, for education, for employment, for business and for every aspect of
New Zealanders’ lives.”
This Digital Inclusion Manifesto
has in principle support from a growing number of
organisations, including Eastbay REAP, Gisborne
District Council, Hui-E, Industry Training Federation, InternetNZ, Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru, Public Libraries
NZ, REAP Aotearoa New Zealand, SeniorNet Federation of New Zealand, Southern REAP, Spark New Zealand, Tairawhiti Technology Trust,
Taranaki eLearning Trust , Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), Web Access Waikato Trust, WestREAP and
Whanganui Chamber of Commerce. Other organisations are expected to give their support in the coming weeks.
“Every political party
should make clear their policy on digital inclusion. We look
forward to a dialogue with the next government
on how New Zealand can achieve full digital inclusion” concluded Mr Millar.
A full copy of the Manifesto and our suggestions
about actions that government could take can be downloaded
from our website
About the 20/20 Trust
The 20/20 Trust helps New Zealanders
participate in the digital world. Our mission is to provide
leadership and work with
communities to deliver digital inclusion programmes. We believe that every New Zealander should:
1. Have affordable access to digital devices and services so they can learn, communicate, innovate and enhance their lives.
2. Have the basic skills needed to use a digital device and access the internet.
3. Be able to safely transact and engage when online and participate in economic, social and cultural activities.
4. Be included, so that no-one is left behind; our focus is on digitally disadvantaged groups.
5. Be encouraged to create and publish as much digital information as they consume.
The 20/20 Trusts programmes have helped over 19,000 families, thousands of job-seekers and hundreds of schools.
Logos and background information are at https://2020.org.nz/media/