Responding to Government Digital Strategy

  • Ashok Vaswani , CEO at Barclays

  • 03.03.2017 07:15 am
  • undisclosed , Prior to Barclays, Ashok was a partner at Brysam Global Partners, a New York City based private equity firm focused on building retail financial service businesses in emerging markets. Ashok spent 20 years with Citigroup working in Asia, Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and North America, his last position being CEO of the Global Consumer Bank in Asia Pacific. Ashok graduated from Bombay University, and has postgraduate degrees from both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of India. Ashok is on the advisory board of SP Jain Institute of Management and has served on the advisory board of Insead Singapore and Visa Asia Pacific. He is Founder Director of Lend-a-Hand, a non-profit organisation focused on economic development in India.

We warmly welcome the launch of the Government’s Digital Strategy and are pleased to see the focus on collaboration and inclusion to progress our digital future. At Barclays, we’ve been working very hard on this agenda for some time and look forward to doing all we can to support the Government’s vision.

The arrival of the strategy could be key to plugging the digital skills crisis, which currently costs the UK economy £63bn a year in lost GDP, but there are gaps still to be addressed. This is why in 2017 Barclays has pledged to teach basic coding to 45,000 children, assist up to 1,000,000 people with general digital skills and expand our network of UK Eagle Labs by up to 100% to support high growth tech businesses and the wider digital enablement of their local communities through our growing team of over 16,000 Digital Eagles.

Barclays Digital Development Index benchmarks 10 countries around the world on their readiness to compete in the digital economy.

  • The UK comes fourth in the index, lagging behind ‘digital tigers’ Estonia, followed by South Korea and Sweden
  • When it comes to individuals’ assessment of their own digital skills and confidence, the UK trails major economic rivals India, China and the USA.
  • The research highlights a disconnect between policies to support digital engagement in the UK, which score well overall, and a lack of confidence in digital skills at an individual level among British workers
  • UK workforce confidence is particularly low in knowledge of how to protect their data and devices and the creation of digital content, like building apps and websites
  • Overall, workers in emerging markets are more confident about their digital skills than those in developed markets

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