Free Digital Skills Academy Launches In Manchester


  • New Lloyds Bank Academy will give residents and charities free help to boost digital skills and confidence online
  • More than one in five (22%) residents in the North West are missing out due to lack of basic digital skills
  • Face to face and online training will be provided by partners including Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice Bureau and Google.

Manchester is now the home of a pioneering new digital skills academy that will help individuals and charities boost their digital know-how, free of charge.

The Lloyds Bank Academy will equip attendees with vital digital skills from using email effectively, to staying safe and applying for jobs online.

Lloyds Bank has launched the Academy after research from its latest Consumer Digital Index showed that nearly one quarter (22%) of North West residents lack basic digital skills and one in ten (10%) are virtually offline.

In practice, this means they are missing out on benefits including better job opportunities as well as increased communication with friends and family.

Set up by Lloyds Bank and supported by partners including Manchester Metropolitan University, Google, Skillsoft and Job Centre Plus, the Academy scheme is now open to residents across the region.

Those participating can benefit from online training, local events and face-to-face sessions at locations across Manchester, Upskill Digital, Stockport, Oldham and Salford.

Nick Williams, Lloyds Banking Group regional ambassador for the North, said:

“We are passionate about the opportunities that digital skills can provide and believe that the skills academy will support Manchester’s ambition to be one of the top five digital centres in Europe. With a quarter of jobs now solely advertised online, it is vital that we help everyone to have equal opportunities in both life and work and we are committed to closing the digital skills gap.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“I welcome the Lloyds Academy’s drive to support Greater Manchester’s jobseekers, people returning to the world of work and charities with upskilling their digital skills.

“As we work to finalise our Local Industrial Strategy it’s clear to me that developing the city-region’s digital skills will be vital to driving our future economic prosperity, and I want to praise Lloyds for this innovative and necessary work.

“We do things differently here in Greater Manchester. Our Working Well scheme is succeeding in getting thousands of previously long-term unemployed people back into work, contributing to the economy and living more productive and fulfilled lives. A productive workforce breeds a productive regional economy, and Greater Manchester is a growing city-region on the world stage.”