Labor Shadow Minister for Human Services and the Digital Economy Ed Husic and Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Stephen Jones said in a joint statement on Tuesday that this would primarily be through creating regional Digital Skills Hubs that would potentially assist up to 500,000 Australians.
The initiative will be announced in Kiama later on Tuesday, with Husic and Jones to be accompanied by the party's candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips.
"Regional Australia lags behind the rest of the country on digital inclusion," Jones said. "It’s not just about having a decent broadband connection - it’s also about regional skills.
The statement said Labor also planned to consult industry on a plan to extend to major government IT suppliers the ratio of one employee in 10 being an apprentice.
The aim is to encourage IT providers to government to open up job pathways and play their part in reducing skills shortages.
“We know there is massive demand for workplace digital skills – it’s estimated we need 100,000 extra digitally enabled workers between now and 2023," Husic said.
“On top of this, digital skills are crucial in everything from engaging with the government or your bank, getting your next job or starting your own business. We need to make sure all Australians have the digital skills they need at work, home or the community.
“Through the power of government procurement, we want to work with industry to create training opportunities for Australians, regardless of where they live. Labor wants to use this program to work with industry to establish best practice and key skills sets to drive ICT training nationally.”
The Hubs will target groups who have been generally excluded from gaining digital skills such as older Australians, Indigenous Australians, people living with a disability, newly arrived migrants, people with English as an additional language and the long-term unemployed.
Regarding the apprenticeship initiative, the statement said only companies involved in government contracts over $5 million and running longer than a year would have to take on apprentices in the ratio mentioned.
This would be in addition to other "skill formation leadership" policies such as instituting infrastructure training and apprenticeship plans for all major projects.