£1.3m fund aims to improve digital skills

The Good Things Foundation and J.P Morgan link up to help small businesses and communities build their digital skills.

Joe Lepper | 21st Jun 19
Image shows people smiling while working on a computer.

A £1.3m fund has been set up with the aim of improving digital skills among communities and small business.

The ‘Power Up’ fund has been set up by investment bank J.P Morgan in collaboration with the social inclusion charity Good Things Foundation.

Organisations urged to apply are those with expertise in community-based support for people on low incomes or helping small businesses. The fund aims to embed or extend digital skills and is focused on areas where J.P Morgan has large UK operations, Bournemouth, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Good Things Foundation Chief Executive Helen Milner said:The world we’re living in is changing rapidly, and although digital has the power to revolutionise both our lives and our work, many people are being left behind. That’s why we’re delighted to be working with J.P Morgan to deliver a new kind of initiative that will change how digital skills support is delivered.

“This initiative will have a significant impact on the lives of the people we’re supporting, and I know the learnings will have a long term impact on the sector, and the way digital skills support is delivered.”

Ministers welcome initiative

In Scotland the Good Things Foundation is working with the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to deliver the initiative. It has the support of both the UK government’s Digital Minister Margot James and the Scottish government’s Minister for Digital Economy Kate Forbes.

James said: “I am delighted to see the private and charity sector joining forces to help improve people’s digital skills across the country through the Power Up initiative. Collaboration is essential to make sure everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of the UK’s digital economy and to effectively tackle issues surrounding digital inclusion.”

Forbes added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work right across sectors to improve digital inclusion, maximise economic prospects, and ultimately to close the digital divide. The initiative is an important step towards bridging the digital skills gap and ensuring that everyone in Scotland can enjoy the social, cultural and economic benefits of the internet.”