Digital skills: essential for the future workforce says Tech Minister
The UK will face a “remarkable challenge” if politicians and businesses don’t work together to provide the workforce with the digital skills they need for the future, Matt Warman MP, the Minister for Digital and Broadband, said at Lloyds Parliamentary reception recently.
Speaking at the Lloyds Banking Group ‘Changing Face of Banking ‘ Parliamentary reception , Mr Warman said “every business up and down the country and every consumer up and down the country requires a new set of skills”, warning, “We have a real challenge if we don’t.”
Outlining the scale of the task, the Minister said that currently, 12 million people do not have the essential digital skills that they need and added that Government must “make sure we continue to provide a workforce that has the skills that were previously very limited to extremely high-tech environments.”
Mr Warman was the keynote speaker at the ‘Changing Face of Banking’ reception, which showcased the latest technologies being developed by Lloyds Banking Group as it adapts to the changing demands of its customers.
As the UK’s largest retail bank with the highest number of digitally active users, it is at the forefront of the digital adoption that is taking place across the UK. Its innovations, which were demonstrated to guests at the reception, include the use of tech to help deaf customers, safeguards against fraud for businesses and retail customers and the use of AI in recruitment.
Speaking at the event, Tara Foley, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for the South East, warned that “financial services were not immune” from the future tech challenges.
“The fourth industrial revolution is dramatically changing how we interact with our environments,” she said.
“Lloyds Banking Group is very aware of this. We’re very cognisant of the fact that customer demographics and customer expectations are changing quite dramatically and we need to keep pace with that.”
The reception was hosted by Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who said: “Technology can be tremendously successful and disruption can be part of a very successful story we want to tell, but we’ve got to be able to do it in a positive and successful way.”
“We have to be louder about how digital innovation can make finance more accessible.”
Mr Reynolds’ words were welcomed by Mr Warman, who said they demonstrated “that there’s really cross party agreement on a lot for this, because there is no one arguing for fewer of us to have the digital skills that we need”.
However the Minister also reiterated the need to work with business as well as other politicians if the digital challenge is to be met. He said the Government is keen to support Lloyds Banking Group’s initiatives in an increasingly digital world, adding that this would be essential to avoid “a 12 million person deficit when it comes to the basics”, while helping the UK preserve its place as the top ranking digital economy in the G7.
Mr Warman added: “We won’t get there without working with companies like Lloyds to solve those challenges”.
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Jonathan Reynolds MP speaks at By Your Side: the Changing Face of Banking Parliamentary Reception:
Caroline Nokes MP and Tara Foley, Lloyds Banking Group Amabssador for the South East speaking at the event: