2 minute read

Jo Harris, Managing Director of Business Banking, talks about the first year of our Digital Workshops

As part of our Helping Britain Prosper commitment, Lloyds Banking Group has pledged to increase the digital skills of 2.5m individuals, small businesses (SMEs) and charities by the end of 2020. This pledge was made on the back of the latest findings from the Lloyds Bank Business Digital Index which found that 1.4m small businesses (38%) and 98,000 charities (49%) in the UK lack basic digital skills.

To try and tackle this, in May 2016 we set out to reach as many SMEs and charities as possible through free Digital Workshops in partnership with Google and Reason Digital.  Since then, working in partnership with our Digital Inclusion team and our ten Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador regions, we have run 25 workshops and reached over 1,900 organisations. What a great achievement!

The workshops take place face to face, which really engages the audience and provides a lasting impact on the individual and their organisation.  People also respond best to training when it is in a familiar and local location, and when it’s delivered by individuals or organisations they already have a relationship with. This is why we‘ve used local schools, colleges, universities and community centres to host these workshops, and are so grateful to all of the organisations who have helped to make these events possible.

“We’re delighted to be working with Business Banking to deliver the Digital Workshops to help our customers and communities transform their organisations through the power of digital.  Helping to close the digital skills gap across the UK is a vital part of our work to help Britain prosper and we’re so grateful for the support of Google and Reason Digital to enable us to make a difference.”

The 2016 Business Digital Index showed that 2.62m small businesses (69%) and 144,000 charities (72%) said they needed to develop skills to stay safe online and an increasing number (up 14% on 2016) cited security as a key barrier to them doing more online.   As a result, we’ve added a module delivered by Google on “keeping your organisation safe online”. This is another great example of where we’re responding to the needs of small businesses in order to help them prosper.

The feedback from the Digital Workshops has been overwhelmingly positive – over 97% of attendees said they’d recommend the event to others and almost 80% said the workshops had helped to increase their digital skills. This is great news; it shows that we are really making a difference to the individuals and ultimately their businesses as a result of these workshops. As we continue to roll out the workshops until the end of the year, we constantly reflect on what has worked well and where we could make improvements so that we can give more people face-to-face training that’s meaningful and relevant to them.  We know that organisations are at different stages of digital maturity – some might need training in basic digital skills while others require more complex guidance for more advanced activities – and this is something we are hoping to build into our offering in the future.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these workshops so please get in touch via @LBGDigi on Twitter.

If you are a small business or charity, find out more and sign-up to attend a free workshop visit: www.lloydsbank.com/digitalworkshops.

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