|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
Knowledge Nation Boosts IT Skills
A national program to train blue-collar workers in IT skills is one of the centerpieces of Kim Beazley's Knowledge Nation strategy.
Labor believes the IT KickStart Plan will be the first step towards breaking the so-called 'Digital Divide' between those with IT skills and those without.
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says the IT Kickstart courses will be introductory courses designed to provide basic computer skills such as getting started with a computer, using email and navigating on the Internet.
Key goals of the training will be for each person to find something on the Internet of personal interest to them, to learn to access government and community services and to locate information they need.
The face-to-face training will be supported by training software, online advice and access to phone support.
The target population are people who have never, or very rarely, used a computer. Recent ABS statistics indicate that 35% of the Australian adult population did not use a computer in the twelve months to February 2000.
"The IT revolution has improved the lives of many Australians who have benefited from access to the internet for information, entertainment, banking and shopping and email for communication," Beazley says.
"But not all Australians have kept pace with the revolution. If we do not assist them some Australians will fall behind. There is no reason why there needs to be a digital divide.
Knowledge Nation Apprenticeships
Meanwhile, the national union representing aged care workers and child care workers has welcomed Kim Beazley's plan to create 35,000 high-skill apprenctice places.
The LHMU National President, Helen Creed, said she had reported the initiative to the National Council of the union - meeting in Darwin.
" Our members will welcome Kim Beazley's plan for 35,000 high-skill apprentices under his Plan for a Knowledge Nation," Ms Creed said.
"There are thousands of people in aged care and child care who would benefit from the Knowledge Nation Apprenticeship Training," she said.
"In aged care, in particular, there is a definite need for formalised training for all staff - not just nurses - to care for an increased aged care population."
Helen Creed said that the $3,000 Labor would pay employers for each apprentice place would help provide quality aged care.
The union would want to ensure the money was genuinely used for training, not a subsidy to the employer as so many of the schemes in the last five years have been.
"But the scheme should be extended to include mature aged women who have much to contribute to the care of older people," Ms Creed said.
Interview: Flying High
ACTU Secretary Greg Combet on saving Ansett jobs, defeating Howard and wooing a new generation of unionists.
Corporate: Howard's List of Shame
ACTU President Shaharn Burrow runs through the litany of corporate collapses and down-sizes that have cut a swathe through the Australian community.
Campaign Diary: Week Four: The Battle Lines Drawn
It was a week that saw the leaders launch their campaigns, kiss lots of babies and battle for space with a Holy Jihad.
Industrial: Desperately Seeking Solutions
They might not call it 'industrial relations' in the spin of modern politics, but all the major parties have released plans that will affect the way we work over the next three years.
Economics: Manufacturing Prosperity
Neale Towart looks at the hidden debate of the election campaign - the degree of intervention government should take through Industry Policy.
History: War And Politics
The Conservatives are trying to wage war and win the election. The pundits say itís a tried and true recipe for electoral success. The 1940 federal poll suggests otherwise.
International: Globalising Labour
On the eve of the International Metalworkers Federation Congress general secretary Marcello Malentacchi argues all nations need to retain a manufacturing base.
Review: Security - Who Needs it?
What does it mean to be secure? Should we even need to ask? In his new book, Anthony Burke asks the tough questions.
Satire: Locksmith Promises "Greater Security" If Elected
A Melbourne locksmith has agreed to run for federal parliament, campaigning on the key issue of security.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005