A new digital academy will help teach essential skills to businesses and charities across Scotland.
Launched by the Bank of Scotland on June 16th, the academy will include free live training sessions, videos, interactive webpages, and guides that can be accessed on-demand at any time. It is also committed to helping more than 10,000 Scottish businesses with their digital skills.
The resources will help people build vital digital skills, including improving confidence online to developing a business website, managing money, and staying connected with friends and family. The academy also provides access to online events for small businesses and charities to network virtually and hear from expert speakers.
Philip Grant, chair of Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish Executive Committee, said: “During the pandemic, digital skills have been a lifeline for many, helping people stay in touch with friends and access services like banking and online shopping.
“Being online has become part of everyday life for many more people and creating the Bank of Scotland Academy is all about helping people build the right digital skills.
“For small businesses, digital confidence and capability have been crucially important. In the last year, 44% of small Scottish businesses wouldn’t have continued trading without digital facilities.
“Having the right digital skills means that people can stay connected with loved ones, businesses can run more efficiently, and charities can raise more funds by reaching more people. The lessons are open to everyone, easy to follow and completely free, so my message is: get involved.”
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According to research from the Bank of Scotland, 67% of people said they would improve their digital skills if they knew support was available. The new data also found that almost two-thirds (63%) of people across Scotland are spending more time online.
In addition, it found that people are not only spending more time online but are also doing more online. For those who have tried new things for the first time during the lockdown, more than nine in ten (94%) expect this to continue in the long term and almost a fifth (17%) are concerned that their digital skills still are not good enough.
More than half (53%) of Scots rely on the internet for day-to-day life and 49% agreed that being online helped them to find and get a job.
As such, digital skills are essential, not only for businesses but for individuals as well. They are also become more important as part of the simple day to day tasks in many people’s lives.
Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy added: “Digital technology plays a key role in a great many aspects of our lives and is essential to our economic recovery. As many people also choose the convenience of digital banking services, industry-led initiatives such as the Bank of Scotland Academy will ensure that our financial system remains inclusive and accessible.
“If people have access to devices and the skills and confidence to use them, it will have significant benefits in economic growth and ensuring services work for us all. I would encourage anyone who thinks they would benefit to make use of this excellent new resource.”
The live lessons and resources have been created by Bank of Scotland with the help of expert learning and technology partners. The number of lessons available will evolve over time to reflect changing needs.