18 May 2015

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that computer coding is taught in every primary and secondary school in Australia so the next generation have the skills they need for the jobs of the new economy.

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.

Every part of our economy and every job will be touched, if not transformed, by the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the future.

Code powers our digital world, making coders the architects and builders of the digital age.

In fact builders, advanced manufacturers and designers are already harnessing the power of technology to create the architecture, medical devices and programs of the future.

As our economy responds to technological change, it is vital all Australians are skilled to be able to participate and innovate.

Digital proficiency will be the foundation skill, as important as reading and numeracy and it will increasingly be the determinant of employment prospects and opportunity.

Business, industry demographers and the Chief Scientist have advocated strongly for a greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, subjects in our schools because they understand the future demand for these skills.

Australia must 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.

This requires an investment in the skills of our great teachers – including upskilling existing teachers and a degree in STEM subjects in our future teaching workforce.

A Shorten Labor Government will upskill 5,000 primary and secondary school teachers, and offer 5,000 Teach STEM scholarships to recent graduates, each year for five years, to address the shortage of qualified teachers in Australia.

Over 12 European countries already have computer programing and coding as part of their curriculum and a further 7, plus New Zealand and Singapore are in the process of introducing it.

Labor will work with states and territories, teaching bodies, schools systems and the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to lift the status of coding to a core skill that is part of learning from the start of schooling.

For more information on Labor’s plan for the future visit:

MONDAY, 18 MAY 2015