Labor believes that coding is the literacy of the 21st Century, and every young Australian should be able to read and write the global language of the digital age.
Digital proficiency will be a foundation skill, as important as reading and numeracy. It will increasingly determine Australians employment prospects and the opportunities available to them in the workplace.
The Australian Workforce Productivity Agency predicts that in 2025 there could be an undersupply of qualifications for key ICT occupations, with employment projected to grow between 64 and 72 per cent faster than overall employment growth, and account for around 5 per cent of all employment in 2025.
Australia needs to elevate technology to the status of literacy and numeracy in the National Curriculum so that it is taught from the beginning of formal learning by a more coding-literate teaching workforce.
That’s why a Labor Government will ensure that computer programming and digital technologies – coding – is taught in every primary and secondary Australian school, by a teacher who has had the opportunity to receive training in coding.
We will work with the states and territories, teaching bodies, school systems and the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to examine ways to lift the status of coding to a core skill that is part of learning from the start of schooling.
Labor’s plan is that by 2020 computer programming and digital technologies – coding – is taught in every primary and secondary Australian school.
We will also invest $9 million to establish a National Coding in Schools centre (NCIS) so that all teachers in Australia have the opportunity to develop their skills, and every student can have access to exciting ways to learn coding.
NCIS will collaborate and link with industry and experts to develop the materials and content to support coding in schools.
To ensure teachers and students benefit from cutting edge virtual programs that set students up for success at school and in the workplace NCIS will:
- Develop and promote innovative teaching of coding in our schools; ensuring teachers in every school gain access to practical hands on training in coding and its integration into the classroom;
- Partner with business and industry leaders to connect the teaching of coding in schools to help establish a culture of innovation and creativity while equipping students with the skills that will be in-demand in the future, including hands-on experience;
- Provide ongoing engagement with teachers across the country to support the integration of coding into their teaching with confidence.
As our economy responds to technological change, it is vital all Australians have the skills to be able to participate – to secure good jobs today and well into the future.
More information about Labor’s positive plan is available here.