Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays have been named as a key partners in a new drive by the UK Government to arm the nation with digital skills and place Britain at the forefront of a sweeping technological revolution.
The Digital Strategy, unveiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley, aims to bridge the national digital divide and re-equip the country as a leading international tech hub.
Key to the ambitions outlined in the plans will be a new Digtial Skills Partnership that will aim to create four million new training opportunities for British citizen.
The strategy includes new commitments, including a plan by Lloyds Banking Group to give face-to-face digital skills training to 2.5 million individuals, charities and small and medium businesses by 2020; plans by Barclays to teach basic coding to 45,000 more children and assist up to one million people with general digital skills and cyber awareness; and a pledge by Google, as part of its commitment of five hours of free digital skills for everyone, to help boost digital skills in seaside towns.
Nick Williams, managing director, consumer and commercial digital at Lloyds Banking Group, says: "By working with the Digital Skills Partnership, and our key partners such as Google and The Good Things Foundation, we can help to tackle some of the issues raised by the Government’s Digital Strategy. Our commitment to provide face-to-face support will make a huge difference to millions of individuals, small businesses and charities across the UK.
The overarching programme will also see the creation of five international tech hubs in emerging markets to create and develop partnerships between UK companies and local tech firms. The outreach project will be based upon the successful UK-Israel Tech Hub which to date has delivered more than 80 partnerships with a deal value of £62 million.
A major review of Britain's role in the development of artificial intelligence applications will also be conducted alongside a funding boost of £17.3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support the development of new robotics and artificial intelligence technologies in universities across the UK.