Digital skills are still lacking in UK business.
Almost 30% of small businesses find that high training costs are preventing them from developing their skills, even though over 50% feel that digital technology will play an increasingly important role in the future success of their business. It’s a strange situation, a small investment in training in return for a growing business.
Getting businesses online
As part of the UK government’s focus to move more businesses online, Google made a commitment to train one million Europeans in digital skills by 2016, which includes 200,000 businesses in the UK. According to Eileen Naughton (the boss of Google in the UK and Ireland) “less than 30% of SMEs have an effective online presence” and described Google’s responsibility as “both a catalyst and engine for growth, to help individual businesses prosper, and the UK economy grow.”
The training is in the form of workshops that enable Google to share good practice and offer advice to companies about how they can use the internet to reach out to more potential customers.
Google Garage locations
The first Google Garage was hosted at Leeds docks in March 2015 and is now in Birmingham Library. These are two of five locations that make up an initial six month pilot. Plus, this is also taking place in Northern Ireland, in Belfast although we couldn’t find evidence of this being available in other European countries such as Ireland. It seems the UK is being used as a pilot.
The project consists of:
- Mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs
- A digital “tune-up” service
- Training local teachers
If you can’t get to one of these sessions, there is an online topic library available too.
As the number of people using digital technologies – that includes your customers – increases, it’s essential to consider your digital strategy and how your business can generate leads online.
If you attended a Google garage event, how was it? What were the benefits and would you recommend the sessions?