The digital revolution signals an era of huge opportunity. It is already affecting us all – changing the ways in which we interact as individuals and societies. It is providing us with more opportunities and greater choice but it is also disruptive and is changing the ways we live our lives. To truly benefit – it also requires us to develop new skills and confidence constantly.
In recent years, increasing focus has been on digital inclusion; ensuring that everyone has the basic access and skills needed to be digitally connected. That has been the right approach. Without a basic understanding, individuals and businesses cannot progress. At the other end of the spectrum, there is terrific support for fast-growing, technology start-ups.
“We understand how important digital skills and confidence are because we’re on a digital journey too. We are committed to using our insights, expertise and scale to help people feel more digitally confident, in any way we can.”
However, this has created a ‘forgotten middle’. There are a significant number of people who are just about getting by online but not developing the skills and confidence to really thrive in this digital age. If we are to establish the UK as one of the most digitally savvy nations on earth, we must help people to fulfil their full potential. And we must ensure that no one is left behind.
As a major British bank, we work with practically every business sector, community and household in the UK, and we believe we have a responsibility to help realise this ambition. We understand how important digital skills and confidence are because we’re on a digital journey too – working to make our apps and online services accessible for everyone and using technological innovation to make lives easier.
We are committed to using our insights, expertise and scale to help people feel more digitally confident, in any way we can. This is why we have launched a range of initiatives aimed at helping people gain the full benefits offered by our new world. One example is our Eagle Labs, providing workspaces and tools for digital creation and innovation. With a third Eagle Lab opening in Brighton this week after successful pilots in Bournemouth and Cambridge, the bank is announcing plans to open up to 20 Eagle Labs this year as part of its wider roll out across the UK, including in Birmingham and Huddersfield.
This is just the beginning. Over the coming months, we will share the results of a new piece of research to map the UK’s current level of digital skills against other markets worldwide, helping us to foster and build a more digitally savvy nation.
Revolutions, by their nature, are testing as well as transformative. Together, we hope to ensure that arguably the greatest change of our time brings benefits for everyone. Please check back here for updates on how we are getting on and for some great examples of how our customers, employees and others are becoming more digitally confident every day.
KEYWORDS: Technology, Business & Trade, Digital inclusion, Barclays, Eagle Labs