Government strategy will give charities training in digital skills

Under the new strategy, Lloyds Banking Group says it will give training to 2.5 million people, businesses and charities by 2020

Charities will receive training in digital skills, the government’s new digital strategy pledges.

The strategy, announced by the culture secretary Karen Bradley this week, says Lloyds Banking Group has promised to give 2.5 million people, small and medium-sized businesses and charities face-to-face training in digital skills, including internet banking, by 2020.

The move is part of the bank’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan, first unveiled in 2014 and updated this week, which aims to raise £22m for charity and donate 2.3 million hours of staff time to community projects.

The government’s strategy says more than four million free digital skills training opportunities will be created "to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business and ensure our digital economy works for everyone".

It says a new Digital Skills Partnership will be set up to bring together government, business, charities and voluntary organisations to ensure people have the skills they need for jobs in their areas and are aware of all the digital training opportunities on offer.

The strategy says Barclays bank will teach basic coding to 45,000 children and help up to a million people with general digital skills and cyber-awareness. And the technology company Google will help to boost digital skills in seaside towns.

"It is part of the government’s ambition to ensure everyone has the skills they need to flourish in a digitally-driven economy," the strategy says.

The strategy also says that young people taking part in the National Citizen Service will participate in a pilot scheme run with the computing charity the Raspberry Pi Foundation that will test ways to include training in digital skills and careers in the programme.

The strategy says this might include hands-on coding experience, digital entrepreneurship and contact with technology-focused businesses to inspire participants to consider careers in the sector.

Bradley said: "This digital strategy sets a path to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, trial a new technology or undertake advanced research as part of the government’s plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation."

Nick Williams, managing director, consumer and commercial digital at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "Our commitment to provide face-to-face support will make a huge difference to millions of individuals, small businesses and charities across the UK."

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