Digital Literacy in a Digital Age

Digital Literacy in a Digital Age is the first discussion paper in our new research series, The State of Digital Literacy in Canada. The series aims to help policymakers and other stakeholders understand the growing need for digital literacy in Canada’s workforce.

Technology has become pervasive beyond what we have traditionally understood as the information and communications technology sector; today, job roles across sectors increasingly require some level of digital literacy. Equipping Canadians with a range of digital skills will be critical both to ensure a robust talent pipeline for employers and to support the development of an inclusive economy.

Read this discussion paper to:

  • Review our initial thinking on a definition of digital literacy, and a framework for understanding the skills that it comprises
  • Understand the key issues and questions that come up in debates about digital literacy and skills
  • Preview our research plans on the topic of digital literacy

This work builds on The State of Digital Literacy in Canada: A Literature Review and is being used to inform BII+E’s Digital Literacy and Coding Pilot.

In the next phases of this research, we will focus on:

  • Further research to map digital literacy-focused programs and policies that currently exist in Canada, alongside Canadian and international case study research to extract lessons for inclusive digital talent development.
  • A closer examination of data related to the supply of and demand for digital skills across different Canadian occupations and industries. This could include research aimed at quantifying existing digital divides in the labour market. This research will be based on existing data sources and potentially on new survey data.
  • Developing actionable recommendations for all levels of government, as well as private and nonprofit actors to address existing gaps and barriers to digital literacy in Canada.

We will continue to develop and seek advice on the concepts in this discussion paper, and we welcome all comments and feedback. To get in touch, please email and

For media enquiries, please contact Coralie D’Souza, Director of Communications, Events + Community Relations at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.

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