Few people would argue with the idea that digital skills are key to modern life. Job searches and applications, marketing your business, entertainment, general communication. All of them are increasingly handled online nowadays. The speed and responsiveness of the digital world is great for those of us able to make use of it. But what about for those of us in need of digital skills training?
What do you do if you can’t tell your .pdf from your .docx, let alone make head nor tail of online marketing technology? Those without access to or the knowledge to use the vast power of the internet are being slowly left behind as society digitises.
There are all sorts of digital skills training opportunities available in the UK but many come with price tags that can make them infeasible for the unemployed or even small business owners. Luckily there are also those that seek to spread knowledge for the betterment of society. As such we’ve devoted this week’s article to two organisations who offer their training completely free of charge!
Combining a long running commitment to improving society with resources most of us can only dream about, it’s not surprising that tech superstar Google has set up a free digital skills training scheme.
From understanding the basics of how websites work through to long term marketing strategies and expanding your business internationally, the Digital Garage website has all sorts of excellent information in easy to access courses.
But wait a minute, wasn’t this supposed to be useful to those of us without access to the internet? Indeed, and to that end, the Digital Garage also has several fixed locations across the country where their staff can deliver talks and one-to-one training in person. Currently these are in Manchester and Edinburgh but new ones open and close periodically.
If these are still out of reach, Google also employs a small army of travelling trainers who seem to get just about everywhere. They have, for instance, recently been on a tour of the UK’s small market towns to bring the good word of online marketing to traders there. You can check out the website for upcoming dates and locations or even book them for your own event!
With a name like that you’d be forgiven for thinking that this scheme taught people about making sound investments. It is instead a new addition to the to the digital skills training workshops available in the UK. Like the Google Digital Garage it is free for those who wish to attend. However, in contrast to Google’s nationwide offering, the Lloyd’s scheme has a very clear geographical focus (for the time being at least!) on the Greater Manchester area.
Launched on 5th December last year, the Academy was conceived after Consumer Digital Index research demonstrated a quarter of the North West’s population lack basic digital skills. One in ten of the population are not even online. This is obviously a problem when many workplaces, government services and job hunting activities require access to and knowledge of the digital world. As such the academy provides a boot camp in basic digital and employability skills like using and manipulating digital documents, email for work, CV writing and interview prep.
Providing face to face learning opportunities at various venues around the city, as well as online courses, the academy aims to increase local digital skills and so prepare the workforce for a digital future. Especially important with Greater Manchester being a growing hub in the European tech scene
For those of you in the area, it seems like a fantastic opportunity you should definitely take advantage of.
Here at Upskill we also try to play our part in demystifying the world of tech so everyone can make use of it to improve their business. Head over to our blog if you want to check out some other great articles with tips on everything from email marketing to efficient goal setting