Virgin O2 business logoDigital Unite is working with Virgin Media O2 Business to boost digital inclusion understanding and awareness amongst their employees, as part of their national programme, Connect More.

Staff from Virgin Media O2 Business’ 2000-strong workforce will be using Digital Unite’s digital inclusion and Digital Champion training programmes to develop employee capacity and capability to contribute to the wider digital skills agenda.

Virgin Media O2 Business will use a combination of Inspire, and the Digital Champions Network training programmes to develop appropriate levels of digital skills understanding and support capacity across their workforce.

How to introduce and sustain digital inclusion

Inspire is a digital inclusion awareness raising programme, providing bite-size e-learning that unpacks digital inclusion and the value of essential digital skills for all. With practical examples and interactive exercises, it provides the perfect introduction to employees on how their own digital skills can be used to make a life-changing difference to someone in ‘close to home’ social and familial circles.

Those employees who sign up to do more proactive digital skill support in the community will be required to do the in-depth, CPD certified training on the Digital Champions Network (DCN). With 27 e-learning courses on how to support learners in all sorts of contexts, plus hundreds of resources and a moderated online community, the DCN is a ready-made way to develop and maintain quality assurance in Virgin Media O2 Business’s staff volunteers. For employees who want to feel confident and competent in their role, the DCN provides extensive opportunity to gain and maintain new skills.

A new initiative to provide digital skills support

Connect More is Virgin Media O2 Business’ new national programme to help digitally excluded residents in local communities gain the skills, confidence, and motivation to use everyday technology and make the most of the internet. The programme will see staff volunteers use five paid volunteering days a year to deliver much-needed digital skills training at locations around the UK, such as local authority-run drop-in centres. The company will work with its network of public sector partners to pair volunteers with residents most in need.

The Connect More programme is launched following new research from Virgin Media O2 and economic modelling from Cebr that found a lack of digital skills is costing the economy £12.8 billion in GVA (Gross Value Added), with 5.4 million Brits unable to carry out simple digital tasks.

Emma Weston OBE, Chief Executive of Digital Unite said: We are delighted to be part of this significant digital skills initiative by Virgin Media O2 Business. What’s particularly exciting is the way we’ve been able to design a staged approach with a layered skills and support offering; we’re flagging the digital inclusion opportunities open to each of us every day through Inspire and then consolidating and extending that knowledge, confidence and skill through the DCN for those employees who will have a more active part in the community.

“All businesses have an important role to play with solving the challenge of digital exclusion and building capability and capacity amongst their staff is a crucial step in the right direction. For telcos like Virgin Media O2 Business, who live and breathe ‘digital’, this feels especially pertinent and well-aligned. We’re excited to see how far we can spread digital skills impact to help Virgin Media O2 Business achieve their commendable aims.”

Hayley Sykes, Head of Brand at Virgin Media O2 Business said; “We are committed to addressing today’s digital divide and have thousands of our own people who are ready and able to make a difference. Our Connect More programme joins the dots by mobilising our employees to deliver free digital skills training and make a real impact on everyday lives and communities. Using Digital Unite’s online training and tools is an important first step in that journey.”

Get in touch with the Digital Unite team to see how your organisation can boost its digital inclusion and staff volunteering initiatives.