Lloyds Banking Group will lead a government initiative to reduce the number of small businesses and charities lacking basic digital skills by a quarter by 2016.
Recent research from Lloyds showed that 1.7 million organisations in the UK have a ‘very low’ level of digital capability, which the bank hopes to address through this scheme.
The bank will help to establish where knowledge gaps exist, before finding ways of supporting organisations in adopting digital tools, building on initiatives carried out through voluntary Local Enterprise Partnerships schemes and local authority mentoring programmes.
“We know that a big barrier is the perceived benefits of digital and that is one area the group will be focusing on,” said Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, group director for digital, marketing & customer development at Lloyds Banking Group.
“We can’t emphasis enough the benefits that the internet can bring for SMEs and charities – such as saving time, increasing revenue or reaching wider audiences. That’s why we are co-ordinating this work so that businesses and charities can reap the rewards from better digital skills.”
The project is part of a collaboration with the government’s recently launched Digital Inclusion Delivery Board - of which Lloyds is a member - as well as digital skills charity Go ON UK, BT, AgeUK, Local Government Association, SOCITM, Tinder Foundation and Citizens Online.
Lloyds has recently undertaken a number of digital initiatives, including supporting regional launches of Go ON UK, and committing to the recruitment of over 2,500 ‘digital champions’ to support their friends and relatives using the internet, social media and services such as mobile and online banking.