Bank of Scotland has launched a new digital academy to help people, businesses and charities across Scotland boost their essential skills.
The academy launches on 16 June and includes live training sessions as well as videos, interactive webpages and guides that can be accessed on demand at any time, all for free. It is also committed to helping more than 10,000 Scottish businesses with their digital skills.
The online lessons are available to everyone, and will build a wide range of skills, from improving confidence online to developing a website for your business, managing your 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.
Bank of Scotland’s latest research revealed that 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. 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 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 aren’t good enough.
More than half (53%) of Scots rely on the internet for day-to-day life and 49% agreed being online helped them to find and get a job.
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.”
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.