Small Businesses: East Midlands

(asked on 21st November 2016) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of the finding of the 2016 Lloyds Business Digital Index report, published in October 2016, that (a) 35 per cent of small businesses in the East Midlands have no basic digital skills and (b) 69 per cent of small businesses still need to invest in cyber security.

Answered by
Matt Hancock Portrait
Matt Hancock
This question was answered on 24th November 2016

The Government is working closely with industry (Including SMEs), education and training bodies and charity organisations to understand and reduce our current skills gaps. We have committed, through the Digital Economy Bill, to introduce legislation which will mean publicly-funded basic digital skills training being offered by providers will be free of charge to adults who need it. We also supported a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Growth Hubs to provide advice at local level for businesses and deliver a network of local support to help businesses develop the skills they need to do more online. The Government also funds Tech City UK which provides an online tool (Digital Business Academy) providing digital business skills training.

The Government is also fully aware of the need for all businesses - including small businesses - to improve their cyber security, which is why ensuring the cyber security of the economy and society is a key feature of the recently published National Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy sets out how an investment of £1.9 billion and the opening of the National Cyber Security Centre will help make the UK one of the safest place to live and do business online. The Government offers a range of free cyber security guidance, training and support for small businesses on, including the Cyber Essentials scheme to protect against the most common cyber attacks.

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