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The Digital Economy needs you

Have you heard the good news?

The digital economy is growing fast and will need many more digitally skilled workers. In fact, Britain will need 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020 to satisfy the UK’s digital potential, according to fresh research published by O2 today.

Alarmingly though, the research also predicts that almost half (47%) of new digital jobs created in the next five years will be in London and the South East. What are O2 going to do about this? Quite a lot as it happens, starting today:

Today O2 launched an ambitious Digital Communities pilot in St. Helens to inspire people and businesses outside of the nation’s capital to make the most of the digital opportunity.

The Vision

Speaking at the launch of the O2 and St Helens Digital Communities pilot, O2 Business Director, Ben Dowd said: “It’s promising to see so many digital jobs being created and filled in the past two years but we can’t get complacent. The economy is nowhere near digital maturity and worryingly the opportunities that are being created, are predominantly in the South.

“We’re committed to playing our part – which is why we’ve launched an ambitious partnership with St Helens Council to show other communities what’s possible. By helping analogue businesses go digital and matching local businesses with the digital talent on their doorstep, we are creating a blueprint for other communities up and down the country so the entire nation can feel the benefits of the UK’s growing digital economy. We’re working towards a Digital Britain, and we’re starting in St Helens.”

What we’re doing

Digital Makeovers for businesses: Offering free consultations and technology to take analogue businesses digital to help them grow

A Digital Skills Exchange: Matching local businesses with the young digital talent on their doorstep – helping businesses to fulfil their skills needs while offering local young people the chance to put their digital skills into practice and gain valuable workplace experience

O2 Think Big grant giveaway: Offering 30 £300 grants and mentoring to young entrepreneurs from the area to help kick-start turning their digital ideas into reality and another 30 more from the British Chambers of Commerce.

Over 60 workshops in the O2 digital hub: Including everything from digital careers clinics to social media surgeries for SMBs, coding clubs and online safety sessions for parents. There are also hotdesks and remote working space on offer.

Find out more here.

Warm reception

St Helen’s Council Leader, Barrie Grunewald said: “Making St Helens a more digitally savvy community has been a vision for some time now, so for it to become a reality is fantastic. This is a huge step forward in bringing St Helens into the digital age and will be a real benefit for residents and local businesses alike.”

Michelle Mone, who is leading a government review into entrepreneurship and small businesses said: “It is really encouraging to see that partnerships between organisations like O2 and St Helens Council are being forged to foster an environment where the entrepreneurial and digital skills of everyone in society can be activated. I look forward to hearing the results of the pilot, and seeing businesses and citizens in St Helens thrive.”

It’s an exciting time to get involved in the digital economy and especially exciting for those taking part today in St. Helens. Watch this space to see the results and hopefully we’ll be coming to a town near you soon.

For any tech advice you might need when setting up your business why not book a session with an O2 Guru? They’re available online, in store and over the phone.

Book a session now


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