Free digital skills hub for small firms goes live


Date: 1 September 2020

A woman successfully completes an online training course

Make It Click is a new initiative aimed at supporting small businesses and helping them to boost their IT skills.

The new Make It Click small business hub is being delivered by social change charity Good Things Foundation. Supported by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the UK Government, the hub offers small firms an easy and convenient way to improve their digital skills.

A poll of over 500 UK small firms and sole traders by Make It Click has found that 47% have suffered a significant loss of earnings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help keep their businesses competitive, 66% of business owners agree they will need to continually update their online/IT skills, yet almost a third (32%) say they would not know where to go to do this.

Make It Click offers a range of free online learning resources to help business owners and their employees increase their digital know-how and confidence. Skills range from beginner courses on word processing to social media marketing and online accounting - the top skills that small business owners said would help to boost their business during the pandemic.

Helen Milner, chief executive of Good Things Foundation, said: "We know that digital skills deliver growth and jobs, and for many small businesses a lack of digital skills is holding them back. Our new resources are vital to help small businesses recover and build skills and resilience … I hope our new hub can help small businesses feel more confident about their future."

The new resources also form part of the Skills Toolkit published by the Government and key industry partners.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "Delivering support to help small businesses increase their digital skills is crucial. The pandemic is making this even more of a priority; FSB research found that in early lockdown [that] around 40% of small businesses adopted or increased their use of digital technologies.

"Alongside supporting this new skills hub, we are asking government to widen the definition of R&D and introduce digital vouchers for small businesses to make it easier for them to adopt digital technologies."

Mike Adams, ceo of Purple, a small business changing the disability conversation to support businesses and disabled people, said: "Since the pandemic, digital skills have gone from being 'nice to have' to essential and we wouldn't have survived if we hadn't quickly adapted. Over the next 12 months our focus is to develop a digital skills training programme to ensure each of our employees deepens their IT knowledge. Make It Click will form an essential component of this as its resources are extensive and its flexible learning approach makes it easy to implement."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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