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Last updated: 09.04.15

Over one million SMEs lack digital skills

A new report has shown that over one million (23 per cent) small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK don't have basic digital skills.

The research comes from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index - in association with Accenture and digital skills charity Go ON UK - which tracks and measures the level of digital ability among SMEs and charities.

Basic digital skills include being able to efficiently run a website, maintain a presence on social media and use e-commerce.

The Index also revealed that 27 per cent of organisations were certain they'd done enough to embrace the digital economy.

However, it did show that the most digitally mature SMEs were a third more likely to benefit from an increase in funding or turnover in the last two years, in comparison to the least digitally able businesses.

Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, group director for digital at Lloyds Banking Group said: "Over a million small businesses and charities still lack basic digital skills and the perceived benefits of being digital remain. For example, 25 per cent of all organisations surveyed believe digital is 'irrelevant' to them.

"We cannot emphasise enough the benefits that digital adoption can offer - such as saving time, increasing revenue or funding or reaching wider audiences. Digital is the key to unlocking these benefits.

"Even if an organisation does not believe they need to be online, many of their customers already are. There needs to be further awareness to give charities and businesses the confidence to do more online."

Virtual College provides a range of online tools that specialise in the business and enterprise division to help workers maintain and develop their skills. For more information, please visit: http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/e-academies/Businesses.aspx

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