2.5: Digital literacy and technology tools

What is a technology tool?

A technology tool is software that enables a person to perform tasks related to an occupation. We use technology tools to perform many tasks in our daily lives including using the internet, sending emails, texts or instant messages, and connecting remotely with video conferencing.

Technology tools range from those more basic and commonly used, such as search engines and email, to highly specialised and occupation-specific tools like computer aided design (CAD) and accounting software.

The Australian Skills Classification provides a list of technology tools used across different occupations. Of the top 20 most commonly used technology tools across all jobs in the Australian economy, the most demanded is data base user interface and query software, which is used in more than 40 per cent of jobs (see Chart 17). This software accesses information stored in a data base and includes the use of a worker using online search engines, a librarian cataloguing books, or a postal delivery driver requesting a list of delivery locations.

Chart 17: Top 20 most demanded software technology tools across all jobs in the Australian economy

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Source: NSC analysis

Source: NSC analysis

The most demanded software technology tool is data base user interface and query, used by 43 per cent of all occupations. This is followed, in order of decreasing demand, by word processing, spreadsheet, email, and office suite software at around 30 per cent of all occupations. The remainder of the top 20 list is a mix of the commonly used and occupation-specific technology with use across all occupations ranging from 15 to 27 per cent.

Of the around 600 occupations within the skills classification, more than 75 per cent have at least one technology tool relevant to the occupation. Even for occupations that require limited use of technology tools in day-to-day work, they still are an important part of performing tasks in that job successfully.

The most used technology tools for a Truck Driver (see Figure 4) demonstrate that even though the primary task is driving a truck, technology tools support Truck Drivers to more efficiently and effectively perform other tasks, such as managing inventory and route planning.

Figure 4: Technology tools used by Truck Drivers

Technology Tool
Inventory management software
Data base user interface and query software
Industrial control software
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
Office suite software
Route navigation software
Spreadsheet software

Source: NSC analysis

Given the constant evolution of technology and the many occupations that now rely on these tools to perform tasks in a productive manner, use of technology tools will continue to grow and be a key part of participating successfully in the labour market.

Example: How JEDI can assist hospitality workers

The hospitality sector was significantly affected by COVID-19 due to restrictions, such as social distancing, imposing on their operations. Many workers across this sector are looking for new jobs.

Like all jobs, those in hospitality require a mix of core competencies, specialised tasks and technology tools. JEDI can identify skills that hospitality workers have and illustrate how they can transfer to other jobs. For example, a Waiter could transfer their existing skills and experience to jobs such as Bar Attendants and Baristas, Pharmacy Sales Assistants, Information Officers and ICT Sales (see Figure 5).

By identifying transferable skills and skills gaps, we can also identify what job would be the easiest for a Waiter to transition into: a Bar Attendant or Barista. While this may be an easier transition, jobs for Bar Attendants and Baristas are not currently in demand. However, Information Officer jobs are currently more in demand, though require additional skills such as invoice processing, computer skills and problem-solving. While Information Officers do not require formal qualifications, the skills gaps could be bridged through courses such as a Certificate III in Customer Engagement, or possibly even through on-the-job training.

Figure 5: Potential job transition options for a Waiter with a skills comparison

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Source: NSC analysis

Source: NSC analysis

Figure 5

Transferable skills and skills gaps from a waiter to four different occupations: Bar attendants and baristas, Pharmacy sales, ICT Sales, and Information Officer. Transferable skills include communication skills, customer service, and team work. The skills gaps include bartending, grinder operation, inventory management, and computer skills.

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Male IT tech wearing glasses  holding laptop checking circuit board