Lloyds Banking Group is now playing a vital role in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Council for Digital Inclusion.
Chaired by Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, the Council brings together representatives from government, the voluntary and private sectors to work together to create the environment for more people to become digitally engaged and make the most of opportunities offered by the internet.
In particular, the Council will focus on increasing levels of basic digital skills and reducing the number of people in England who do not regularly or never access the internet at all.
Nick Williams, MD, Consumer Digital for Lloyds Banking Group is joining the quarterly sessions and is acting as an adviser to help deliver the Council’s aims and work.
Still in its infancy, the Council has laid out some early action plans and ensuring it plays a pivotal role in making sure organisations in social housing, charity, banking, telecoms, retail and government work together to commission and deliver initiatives to increase digital inclusion.
Nick said, “I’m delighted that Lloyds Banking Group is playing an important role in this Council. It’s staggering that an estimated 12.6 million adults in the UK still don’t have basic digital skills, which means people are missing out on improved job opportunities, better health and social and financial inclusion.
“Our research in both our Consumer Digital and Business Digital Indexes show that clearly there is more we all can do to ensure individuals and businesses are aware of the opportunities available to them just by being online. For example we found that the average person could save £744 a year by shopping around for online deals.”
Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: "It's essential everyone in the UK has digital skills to create a society that works for all and keep our businesses competitive in a fast-changing world.
“We're taking action to help, which is why we set up the Council for Digital Inclusion to bring together leaders from business, charities and government to help more people realise the benefits of being online.
"We have also recently committed to make sure all adults in England who need it can receive free training in basic digital skills."
As well as being part of the Council, Lloyds Banking Group has also been asked by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to lead a ‘task and finish’ group to specifically increase the digital skills of small businesses and charities in England.
The ‘task and finish’ group was set up following an audit by the Digital Inclusion Delivery board that identified a lack of digital skills provisions available.
The group is made up of key cross sector leaders who will pool resources, create partnerships across sectors and devise initiatives to help reduce the gap in basic digital skills for small businesses and charities.
Nick adds, “Our 2016 Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index shows the link between digital maturity and organisational success, and we know that the most digital businesses are more likely to see increased turnover – so this cross sector group, focused on helping increase basic digital skills, is crucial to increasing the awareness of the benefits and the motivation to increase digital skills.”