Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub have launched their #DoDigital series for 2021, which offers fully funded, accredited business support, with live and on demand digital workshops and webinars for businesses of all sizes and sectors across the county.

Back by popular demand, a newly enhanced and fully funded package of support is now available to businesses through a Digital Toolkit. This toolkit will allow companies to update and educate their management teams and employees throughout the digital era, whilst upskilling staff to future-proof their business.

Despite digital now needing to be an essential part of every business, just 1 in 10 businesses have taken action to address the widening skills gap that a fifth of businesses have already reported. Those sectors with the highest skills gaps include information and communication; professional, scientific and technical activities; admin; commerce, transport and accommodation and food service and construction.

Alun Rogers, Chair of the LEP said: “We know that digital skills are no longer just relevant to the tech sector but are now a universal requirement for every business across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Not only do roles requiring digital skills pay on average 29% more that roles that don’t, digital skills are a key driver of productivity, social inclusion and readiness for the future of the workforce. Moreover, businesses that don’t do digital will get left behind.

“10 years ago, people hadn’t really heard of Bitcoin or Instagram, but these channels and digital platforms are now part of the business growth machine, and having the skills and confidence to maximise their potential will be what enables companies survive and grow into the future. It’s that important.

“That’s why the LEP is really proud to be working with the Growth Hub and Chamber of Commerce to bring this training programme to Staffordshire SMEs. I encourage businesses to get in touch and make the most of the support. It’s never been more important that it has now to ‘Do Digital’.”

This year, #DoDigital is also offering eligible businesses the opportunity to take advantage of two days of in-business support from specialist digital transformation experts. These advisors have extensive experience in developing and implementing digital strategies; taking customers on a virtual journey; setting up effective ecommerce; utilising appropriate software and technology and setting up effective social media strategies. Their expert input into businesses’ strategies will be guaranteed to help facilitate digital transformation.

Nicola Kent, Manager of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub said: “We are really pleased to be launching this brand-new digital toolkit for business that is aimed to support SMEs through their digital journey, in line with the Government’s drive on digital transformation. The training programme and toolkit aims to give business owners and their employees new digital skills that can help them grow, innovate and thrive and our expert advisers are on hand to help businesses at every stage of the journey.”

Businesses wanting to find out more about the #DoDigtial programme of support or to sign up to the online training should contact the Growth Hub on 0300 1118002 or visit Business Support in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire - (stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk)

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