How to upskill your employees for the digital age » SMEInsider

How to upskill your employees for the digital age

Arch Apprentices is preparing to launch the Digital Business Apprenticeship Qualification, which will introduce digital skills to new and existing employees across all of a business’ departments.

Digital skills are no longer the preserve of specialised teams; they’re necessary for success in today’s business environment.  For small companies, whose teams may not include anyone with digital skills, upskilling employees across all departments could speed up day-to-day administrative processes and open up a whole world of digital tools, from communication tools to social media and website development, without hiring additional staff.

Arch’s new apprenticeship will combine business administration training with digital training, aiming to give employees the skills and mindset to compete in an agile, customer-centric and technology enabled business environment. According to Ben Rowland, co-founder of Arch, 150,000 administrative apprenticeships per year could be “supercharged” with this digital content.

He said: “Imagine how wonderful it would be for SMEs, who are often stretched very thin in terms of resources, to have someone on board who could help their company take advantage of digital tools like Skype, cloud services, office tools like Excel and even key social media and web services. Their familiarity, comfort and ability with digital applications would make a massive difference to the business that employs them.”

The Digital Business Apprenticeship Qualification is a one-year structured programme comprised of 25 training days – conducted largely through Arch’s virtual classroom – and ongoing assessment and support. The qualification is accredited by City & Guilds.

The qualification is open to new and existing employees of all ages and is fully government-funded for employees aged 18 and under. For those aged 19 or above Arch charges between £5,000 and £7,000, dependant on the size of the company, while the government funds the remainder.

Rowland said: “Organisations haven’t fully grasped what technology can do for them in terms of becoming more nimble, responsive and customer-centric. They need people with a mindset that is up for that. That’s what our people are going to be learning, along with the digital tools themselves.

“A lot of businesses will want to boost the digital skillset of their workforce in a systematic and structured way.  We’re harnessing a government-subsidised program to offer a solution.”