Covid-19 Resilience: Digital Tools & Skills Update 5

As the weeks pass we hope this newsletter finds you well and settled in your new ways of working, learning and supporting communities. It’s been a tough 12 weeks and whilst there is still a lot to do to support those unable to access learning, it’s been amazing to hear of the engaging learning resources that have been developed and businesses that have transformed the way they work, how they connect as a team and how they reach customers.

In this newsletter, we’ve rounded up the latest, new digital support programs for businesses, learners and young people and listed some upcoming webinars you might find useful.

It’s also a happy-sad day here for our small team as we say goodbye to Claire and wish her the very best as she starts maternity leave – there’s an exciting new adventure about to begin! Claire has been instrumental in leading the Digital Skills Innovation Fund, Digital Momentum program which over 12 months has supported 194 people across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay to retrain into digital roles; IT support roles, Cybersecurity roles and Data Science, or take their first steps online and learn basic digital skills.  This group of 48 learners, included Syrian refugees and older learners who had no way of learning online when Covid-19 struck and the programme was able to provide entry-level laptops or tablets to enable these households to get online. The program also supported 40 female-founded businesses with a five day LoveDigital Bootcamp to support their digital confidence and awesome implementation of digital tools and processes. The program has been a great success and we can’t thank Claire enough for making it happen!

We hope you find this update useful, stay well and take care! Charlotte, Claire and Julie


Free webinars, online short courses and cyber support ‘buddy sessions’ to help local businesses bounce back

From talking to businesses about the challenges they are facing at this time we’re excited to share details of a programme we’ve put together in collaboration with some of the regions leading digital experts. Bounce Back Digital is a series of webinars and virtual courses to support small businesses move online, reach customers through digital channels and sell using online platforms.

During June and July we’re running 30 short virtual courses and webinars covering 5 key knowledge gaps cited by local micro and small businesses:

  • Setting up e-commerce websites
  • Moving to cashless payments and digital bookkeeping
  • Mastering online productivity tools
  • Using digital marketing tools
  • Being cybersecurity confident

Proposal from the Digital Skills Partnership selected as Nesta Finalist

A proposal to work with the Dutch Skilllab app to support mature workers whose roles may be at risk of automation has been selected as one of the 20 finalists in the Nesta CareerTech Challenge.

Exeter Science Park ‘New Normal’, brown bag lunch webinars

Exeter Science Park has launched a series of webinars to inform and inspire the region’s business community as we move into the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. The brown bag webinars will see the Digital Skills Partnership join up with Tech South West to bring you digi/ techy conversations every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 12:30pm. We’ll be talking everything from remote organisational culture, asynchronous business models that have survived the downturn, to Automation, it’s coming – are you ready?  Register for future sessions here.

Data Skills Platform – an invite to evaluate

The Data Skills Taskforce, supported by DCMS, has created a free online platform providing access to content for SMEs to help develop data skills. The platform has a self-assessment tool that helps you understand your organisational and technical readiness with respect to data, and signposts you to relevant resources and training. Whilst the platform is in the early build stages businesses are both invited to use it and to share their feedback on how it could be improved (evaluation form)


Digital Boost has launched this week – a free-to-use platform that matches digital experts with micro and SME businesses and charities experiencing difficulties during the current climate, who are in need of specific digital support. The request for help could be anything from bespoke support in how to understand Google Analytics, creating a logo for a new service launching or developing online content. The support is delivered through matching the business with an expert for a boost call and/ or matching you with a workshop and /or signposting to online self-help resources. Alongside raising awareness of this new platform to our business community the Digital Skills Partnership would like to encourage our in-region digital experts to get involved!

1) Consider signing up to volunteer some time for 121 boost calls

2) Tell us (the DSP) about online workshops or programs you have running and we will get these added to the Digital Boost workshop list

3) Tell us about the online resources you have and we’ll get these added to the Digital Boost library.

Upcoming Webinars

Enterprise Nation: Lunch and Learn – Getting your branding right

When: 12/06/20 12:00 – 12:30

Offering tips for producing and putting out the branding that is right for your business, and that will attract the attention of potential customers and clients.

Register here

Google Digital Garage: Writing for Social Media

When: 15/06/20 11:00 – 12:00

Learn how to create compelling content and develop a tone of voice that’s right for your business.

Register here

Bounce Back Digital Webinar: Cashless Payments & Digital Bookkeeping

When: 16/06/20 10:00 – 11:00


With extensive experience in fintech, LimeCloud will guide you through a breakdown of Cashless Payment Systems & Digital Bookkeeping. An overview and key features and benefits will be highlighted. This will inform attendees of options and also promotion of other modules to follow will compliment this. This webinar will run through the online transacting solution options; advantages, disadvantages and examples at a high level, along with touching on how cloud accounting can form the complete picture.

Register here

Enterprise Nation: How can we improve the world using communications & digital?

When: 16/06/20 15:00 – 16:00


A debate from industry leaders on how different marketing disciplines can tackle the biggest issues of the moment including climate change and global social problems.Register here

New normal, brown bag webinar: Ready for Change? Your organisational Culture in a Post Lockdown World

When: 17/06/20 12:30 – 13:00

A live discussion with business leaders and experts chaired by Dan Pritchard, co-founder of Tech South West and Charlotte Collyer, Heart of the SW Digital Skills Partnership Manager.

We’ll be looking at how organisations can learn from recent events and foster a positive and resilient culture as new models of working emerge. What are the lessons, priorities and benefits of getting it right in a post-lockdown world?

Register here

Lloyds Bank Academy: How to design a website

When: 17/06/20 09:30 – 10:30


Whether you have a website already, or are looking to build one soon, this online session will give you the tools, and strategies to get the most out of your website.

Register here

Google Digital Garage: Find Your Balance with Technology

When: 17/06/20 16:00 – 17:00


Discover the benefits of a balanced relationship with technology and learn:
– Awareness of the impact that devices have on your life and how this affects your well-being
– Explore, select & commit to actions you can take to improve your digital well-being
– Tools and tips that can help you move from unconscious to intentional usage

Register here

Lloyds Bank Academy: Survive & thrive beyond C-19: Networking with SW businesses – online

When: 23/06/20 10:15 – 12:30


This networking event will connect you with businesses in the South West to talk about challenges and opportunities that can help your business. Joined by a panel of businesses who will share their journeys through C-19 and looking ahead to the future.

Register here

Bounce Back Digital Webinar: Discover Digital Tools to Improve Productivity

When: 25/06/20 14:00 – 15:00


This webinar will-change-your-life! Well, maybe improve the way you work. Focusing on time-saving, tools, practices and apps to help you find improvements in your daily routines and helpubg you to work smarter, so your workday doesn’t run into your evenings and weekends.

Register here

Bounce Back Digital: Building Quick and Easy Websites with Wix

Wix is the world’s most popular website design platform, used by 110 million people with 45,000 new sign-ups every day. Our step-by-step guide alongside our approved UK Wix partner will show attendees just how easy it is to get started.

9 hour course spread over 3 sessions in June; 16th, 23rd & 30th

Bounce Back Digital: How Shopify can Transform your Business

Shopify is used by 600,000 businesses in 175 countries. TechSPARK alongside its approved Shopify partner will teach attendees how to maximise the low startup costs and build easy-to-use e-commerce website.

9 hour course spread over 3 sessions in June; 16th, 23rd & 30th

Bounce Back Digital: Using PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay, GoCardless & iZettle

A deep dive into the world of cashless payments, how they work, what to consider when choosing your platform(s), how they should integrate with your existing tech and how they can be utilised to make sure you are compliant with the government guidelines to be COVID Secure .

Bounce Back Digital: Guide to YouTube & Instagram

Learn how to build and manage an audience in YouTube and Instagram. Learn from the basics upwards, the tips and hints that will fast-track your success. Find out how to develop YouTube and Instagram content that is fit for your audience and ways to make video a key feature of your marketing mix.

Bounce Back Digital: Using Rocketspark

Rocketspark Design partners, LimeCloud will take you through a step by step setup of your ecommerce store and, importantly, how to integrate it with your accounts, payment services and email marketing to allow you more time to get on to do more of what you love.

9 hour course spread over 4 dates: 18th, 25th of June, 2nd & 9th of July

Bounce Back Digital: Using Xero

A deep dive into the world of Xero and how it can transform your business, from real-time information that can help your business to be agile in this ever-changing world. With live demos on how to automate everyday tasks, getting up to date financials to ensure you know where you are with your business, from wherever you are.

6 hour course spread over 3 June dates: 22nd, 24th & 26th

Imployable – Skyrocket Your Skills

Over 30 free courses to choose from covering Project Management, Health and Safety, Personal Protective Equipment, Cybersecurity and much more!

The Skills Toolkit

New resources developed by the government offering a selection of digital and numeracy courses, ranging from introductory to more advanced levels.

Bounce Back Digital: Using Rocketspark

Rocketspark Design partners, LimeCloud will take you through a step by step setup of your ecommerce store and, importantly, how to integrate it with your accounts, payment services and email marketing to allow you more time to get on to do more of what you love.

9 hour course spread over 4 dates: 18th, 25th of June, 2nd & 9th of July

Future of Tech

Library of resources from CompTIA that include videos and interactive tutorials in Big Data, Cyber Security, Digital Health, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence.

Future Learn

Includes disease outbreak prevention courses.

Learn My Way

Offers courses on Google, Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and productivity tools.

Lynda – LinkedIn Learning

Linkedin Learning with over 4000+ courses

Learn My Way

Offers courses on Google, Outlook, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and productivity tools.

Resources for Schools & Colleges

Remote STEM Lessons for Young People

STEM Learning has released a variety of free curriculum-linked science lessons for children of all ages created and recorded by subject experts, the lessons cover a range of topics, including evolution, forces, and the human body. Lessons can be accessed at any time of day, making them easy to fit into a home learning schedule.

Tech We Can Tuesdays

Free Tech Lessons for kids (10 -13 years) every Tuesday!


New initiative to get 13-19 year olds to learn a range of key practical and workplace skills during lockdown through designing and building video games.

Sparx Maths Virtual Classroom

Exeter-based educational company Sparx is offering all secondary schools around the world free access to Sparx Maths Virtual Classroom; allowing teachers and learners to attend virtual lessons during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Devon-based CodeCreates has pulled together a host of resources aimed at Primary and Secondary pupils that you can use with your family to support coding and creativity.

2020 Minecraft Education Challenge

A virtual build challenge that invites students around the world to learn about issues related to sustainability and inclusion, then design solutions with Minecraft: Education Edition.

Tech We Can

Free online lesson plans now available for parents and carers teaching at home.

Cyber School

Free to attend for Primary and Secondary school students. Classes are held twice daily and last 1 hour. Students attend via Zoom. There are before and after classes for students to complete cyber assignments.

Barefoot Computing

Easy cross-curriculum lessons and resources for teaching via video link.


Course in Web Development, Mobile Development and Data Science. Free Code Academy Pro unlimited access passes for 10,000 college students across the world.


Offering mini-courses in digital, enterprise and employability skills. As mini subjects are completed you move through your Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Cisco Networking Academy

Online courses in the Internet of Things, Linux, Cyber Security, Entrepreneurship.

Google Digital Garage

Online mini-courses in Digital Marketing, Data, Time Management, Productivity and more.

Institute of Coding

Offering a wide range of industry-inspired courses co-designed by a network of employers and educations.

Code Academy

Advanced courses Data Science, Web Development and Mobile Development. Free Pro Academy offers unlimited access passes for 10,000 college students across the world.

Resources for Community

BT Skills for Tomorrow
Offering free short video tutorials aimed at daily life, parents, businesses and teachers including:

Video calling – learn how to use video calling to connect with family and friends

Online and mobile banking – providing tips on how to do internet banking using either a computer, tablet or mobile phone, and how to keep track of your money

Online shopping – helping on how to shop online, compare prices, use secure payment methods and understand your rights when buying online

Socialising online – learn how to use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to connect with family and friends and to share things online

Watching and listening online – support to watch TV and listen to radio online, and to use services to listen to music

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