Vodafone Offers SMB Digital Skills Workshops In Leeds And London

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Operator says it wants to help small companies improve their digital and online abilities to help build their business

Vodafone is to offer digital skills workshops to SMBs in Leeds and London as part of a pilot scheme to see how the operator can aid smaller businesses to compete online.

The company says many small firms lack the digital capabilities to build their business, recruit the right staff and reach more customers, with 30 percent not even having a website.

The workshops will teach SMBs how to create a secure, mobile-optimised website through code, complete with online payment features, how to create an effective social media presence to drive awareness and sales, how to use targeted advertising and cybersecurity tips to protect company and customer data.

Vodafone digital skills

AWS“It is no surprise that the way we do business is changing,” said Jonathan Kini, head of SME business at Vodafone. “This is driven by more and more transactions happening online and by customers’ changing expectations.

“Customers want to be able to engage with businesses through multiple channels and to receive fast, responsive and quality customer service 24/7. Therefore SMEs need to adapt and be ready to take advantage of the online opportunities and benefits of being a digital business and not risk losing out by falling behind the digital curve. We are really pleased to be launching this new initiative which will help many more SMEs become Ready Businesses.”

Vodafone says Leeds and London were chosen as the test beds because they are “major business hubs” within the UK and support “large and thriving” SMB communities. If the workshops, conducted by digital transformation firm Freeformers, are successful then Vodafone may look at expanding it elsewhere.

Research last year suggested a quarter of Brits fear the sack due to a lack of digital skills, while the government is looking to overhaul the ICT curriculum for school children. Other initiatives like the ‘hour of code’ have also been launched to try and address any potential ‘technology’ skills gap.

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