Tag Archives: Australia

Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) 2018

downloadThe Australian Digital Inclusion Index, powered by Roy Morgan Research, measures the extent of digital inclusion in Australia. Access and affordability can present barriers to digital inclusion, however an individual’s digital engagement is also largely affected by Digital Ability (attitudes, skills and activities), whether a person can see potential benefits of engagement, and motivation and attitude, including concerns about safety and security.

This is a digital inclusion measurement tool (Index) that will help inform and promote public policy and program responses to enhance digital inclusion in Australia.

The key objectives of this initiative are:

  • To improve our understanding of digital inclusion and its relationship to social and economic disadvantage in Australia
  • To raise awareness and focus attention on the social impact of digital inclusion
  • To facilitate consultation, debate and discussion among key cross sectoral digital inclusion stakeholders
  • To inform what business, government and community organisations can do to enhance digital confidence and participation for all Australians.

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index  is not tailored to a particular group or section of the community. It measures the level of digital inclusion of the Australian population as a whole and tracks this over time. Any community in Australia can replicate the index to compare their results against Australia as a whole and if they are able, to do this over time.

source: https://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/ 

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Workers feel unprepared to get jobs in the digital economy (Australia)

Australians earning under $50,000 a year, that are single, aged 40-49 or did not complete high school are most concerned they’ll be out of a job in the new digital economy, but the majority are not doing anything to learn new skills.

A new study from MYOB, presented at The Australian Financial Review Innovation Summit, indicated that 28 per cent of respondents felt “totally unprepared” for the tech-driven changes to the workforce, while only 16 per cent of people felt completely prepared.

“[It’s] been well documented by the OECD is that the relative value of different parts of the value chain is changing. What they’ve commented on is the components at the start of the value chain and end are worth more now than they were in the past and those in the middle are worth relatively less,” Mr Reed said.

“In particular the design and research and development and marketing and services component have lifted in their share of the overall value of the value chain and the logistics and manufacturing are down.”

But overall, Mr Reed was bullish that Australia was positioned well to benefit from this shift in value in the supply chain.

“This is very good for Australia as a small, educated open economy participating in global supply chains. This enables us to focus on the areas that are high value-add, if we have the skills across our workforce to be able to do that,” he said.

The respondents in the MYOB survey rated problem solving, digital security, collaboration, digital data and digital design skills as the most critical for workplaces of the future.

These skills matched up with those identified in a study by local economics firm Alphabeta last year, which found interpersonal, creative, decision making and information synthesis abilities would be critical to the digital economy.

Despite the majority of respondents not being able, or willing, to invest in their own upskilling, Mr Reed said the fact there was alignment in the knowledge of what skills would be needed was cause for optimism.

“I’m really optimistic about the future. I’m far more concerned about the lack of artificial intelligence having the productivity drivers we need than the fear of destroying jobs.

“This data gave me more reasons to be optimistic because the skills that are the high value skills and are needed by companies are seen to be needed by the individuals in Australia. There’s no mismatch in information.

“What we’re not doing enough of is building those skills in individuals.”

Mr Reed proposed that Australia needed to rethink its education models, backing Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott’s idea for a government lifelong learning fund, an impetus in more industries for continuous learning like what occurs in medicine or accounting, as well as more employers being willing to fund employees to undertake new qualifications in exchange for loyalty.

MYOB has implemented a program in which it brings mature-aged women into the business and spends nine months training them to the level of an undergraduate in computer science, on the condition that they agree to work for the company for a set period of time afterwards. This is helping the company tackle gender equality in the tech industry, while also letting it identify new talent.

“That model where there is an implicit investment in skills and also an appreciation from the individual regarding the return on that investment, that’s something we’ll see more of.”

Despite this, over half of the 500 the respondents surveyed said they were not financially prepared to invest in updating their skills and 47 per cent admitted they were not doing anything to update their skills, not even reading leadership books or listening to webinars, let alone undertaking a course.

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said the Australians most fearful of the shift to the digital economy were those that typically doing roles in the middle of the “value chain”.

source: www.afr.com

Difficult and contentious: taxing the digital economy (Australia)

Accountants have been urged to keep a lookout for significant changes to the tax environment as the government considers options for taxing the digital economy.

In Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget address, he noted how the government’s crackdown on multinationals had brought $7 billion a year in sales revenue and would now be looking towards the digital economy as part of its initiatives to strengthen its tax base.

“The next big challenge is to ensure big multinational digital and tech companies pay their fair share of tax,” said Mr Morrison.

“Over the past year I have been working with counterparts at the G20 to bring the digital economy into the global tax net.

“In a few weeks’ time I will release a discussion paper that will explore options for taxing digital business in Australia.”

Thomson Reuters tax consultant Terry Hayes believes taxing digital business in Australia will continue to be a difficult and contentious issue and suggested that Mr Morrison was looking to Europe for ideas.

“Europe has been taking a lead in measures to tax the digital economy,” said Mr Hayes.

“In March this year, the European Commission proposed to introduce a digital services tax aimed at addressing the tax challenges of the digital economy in the European Union. Companies such as Google and Facebook would clearly be impacted.”

Mr Hayes believes the upcoming discussion paper announced by Mr Morrison might shadow two distinct legislative proposals put forward by the European Commission in March this year.

The proposed long-term solution would allow EU member states to tax profits that are generated in their territory, even if a company does not have a physical presence there. Profits would be registered and taxed where businesses have significant interaction with users through digital channels.

The second option, would be for an interim digital tax, roughly 3 per cent, to cover the main digital activities that currently escape tax altogether. This interim tax would apply to revenues created from activities where users play a major role in value creation.

“However, it is understood there may be some wavering on the proposals as concerns rise among European countries of possible US retaliation over the measures,” said Mr Hayes.

source: www.accountantsdaily.com.au