Leading digital social learning platform FutureLearn has partnered with leading volunteer-matching platform, Digital Boost, to boost the UK small business and charity communities heavily affected by COVID-19. The partnership adds FutureLearn course content on to Digital Boost’s platform so people who lead and work for small businesses and charities have 1-click access to learn how to leverage digital tools to serve their customers better.
“It is great to see Digital Boost joining forces with FutureLearn to help charities and small businesses develop the skills they need to drive growth and seize the benefits of our digital economy,” said Digital Minister Caroline Dinenage, “We are investing in programmes like this to develop people’s digital skills and help them access new jobs and opportunities up and down the country to make sure no one is left behind.”
“We were inspired by the number of volunteers who joined the NHS as the Covid-19 crisis started to unfold. We realised; however, that the millions of people who lead and work for small businesses, charities and social enterprises – also needed their own army of volunteers: This is what led us to create Digital Boost.” said Sherry Coutu, Chairman of Digital Boost. We are thrilled to embed FutureLearn’s online courses into our user’s journeys because these resources beautifully supplement the 1-2-1 mentoring and workshops we are so well known for.
Digital Boost UK’s partnership with FutureLearn aims to upskill employees with high-demand skills like Digital Marketing Implementation, Data Analytics, Business Strategy and Product Development courses on Digital Boost’s resource library, Boost Skills. These subjects are particularly sought after according to the most commonly registered needs amongst the small organisations already registered as users on Digital Boost.
There are currently six million organisations in the small business community in the UK and 180,000 charities. According to research, the combined productivity gap caused by low digitisation means a loss of £100 billion to GDP in Great Britain. Helping small businesses and charities become more digital can help them survive in the face of the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has changed everything, from the nation’s economy, to the way we work, to the way we learn,” said Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at FutureLearn. “Our mission at FutureLearn is to transform access to education, and we believe this is a moment for edtech and online learning to make a hugely positive impact on society. With unemployment figures predicted to reach over 4 million UK adults by Christmas, we hope that by making vital digital skills training opportunities more widely available to SMEs, our partnership with Digital Boost will provide a lifeline for small business owners and their employees during this challenging time.”
The partnership between FutureLearn and Digital Boost will continue to grant a flow of course content, both in the form of course content exclusively available to those registered on Digital Boost’s platform, and in the form of short courses made available to the public on Digital Boost’s website.
About Digital Boost
Digital Boost is a non-profit free-of-charge online platform that brings together those who work in small businesses and charities with a community of digital expert volunteers drawn from larger businesses who have had years of training in digital techniques. Co-founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures and supported by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport and Google, Digital Boost aims to help rebuild our economy by helping those who work for small businesses & charities access digital expertise so they get through the COVID-19 crisis, and stay competitive in today’s digital world.
Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support millions of learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University in the UK and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi, Founders4Schools and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.