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Victoria Launches New Digital Literacy Programme

The Digital Literacy pre-course was started in response to the online transition of programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and because many Australian Multicultural Education Services (AMES) clients had not used a computer or smartphone before arriving in Australia.

Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills visited AMES in Werribee to meet teachers and students and see the program in action. The program began at AMES in March to provide participants with a foundation to use emails and services like myGov, search for jobs, create strong passwords and understand cyber safety.

The program was co-designed by people who were refugees and asylum seekers, for migrants from places like Syria and Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Venezuela.

AMES is supported by the Victorian Government and the Digital Literacy pre-course complements its existing settlement, language and employment services, which are delivered to more than 50,000 clients each year.

The Minister stated that this is an important program that will ensure no Victorian is left behind — and that people from CALD communities have the support to improve their communication skills, enter the workforce and live their best lives.

“We are committed to strengthening the skills and training sector to prepare people for the most in-demand jobs and bolster the economy as Victoria emerges from the coronavirus pandemic,” the Minister stated.

The Victorian Budget 2020–21 includes an annual overall investment of $1 billion to strengthen the training and skills system as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. It includes more than $800,000 over four years for AMES to support Cultural Safety Training and the Career Mentors for Multicultural Learners Program. It will also provide further support to establish a Multicultural Learning Partnership to improve core skills in Victorian CALD communities.

The AMES Chief Executive Officer stated, “AMES is thrilled to be supporting Victoria’s multicultural community and refugees to improve their skills as well as access services, information and employment opportunities.”

About Victorian Budget 2020–21 

Victoria’s 2020-2021 Budget stated that the pandemic has required a rapid shift to online activity. This Budget will help the region embrace new technology – and make it one of Victoria’s strengths.

The region’s Government will provide $626 million in a landmark Victoria’s Digital Future Now investment to radically improve mobile coverage and broadband access in regional areas while supporting businesses and creating new jobs.

This includes $250 million to co-fund business-grade broadband connectivity for Victorian suburbs and regional towns through the Gigabit State program, which we will work to deliver in partnership with the Commonwealth. Gigabit State will address gaps in the availability of reliable high-speed fibre optic and wireless broadband services for business users – helping them find new customers and new markets. This includes upgrades in regional towns with satellite and fixed wireless services – giving them access to broadband.

It will also provide more opportunity for Victorians, with the construction and operation of this new broadband infrastructure to support nearly 2,000 jobs.

Up to $300 million will eradicate mobile blackspots in populated areas of regional Victoria – supporting local businesses, local economies and local communities. This investment remains subject to a co‑contribution from the Commonwealth, which has responsibility for our nation’s telecommunications network.

An investment of $64 million will deliver the Digital Skills and Jobs Program, enabling unemployed Victorians to undertake digital skills training or a digital internship – helping them find new opportunity and employment. This ground‑breaking investment will assist 5,000 unemployed workers into a potential new career, helping them to retrain and reskill, with a strong focus on supporting women.

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