A Manchester-based digital and social media academy has launched a free summer school to help busy professionals master online marketing in just five weeks.

The short digital course will begin in August and will involve a series of 10-minute webinars held every Wednesday morning during the month.

Dawn McGruer, head trainer and director at Business Consort, will host the webinars, sharing her extensive 17-year experience in the industry.

“We want to help those who have a desire to ramp up their knowledge in digital marketing, but may not have the time to attend lengthy training sessions and workshops,” said McGruer.

“The webinars are designed to provide advice on the top 10 digital skills required in business today and we hope to teach people how to revolutionise their digital marketing planning and strategy in quick, easy-to-follow steps.”

Those who register for summer school will gain access to ongoing digital development and support through an online learning portal, which has a built-in skills audit, plus a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ library option to add further courses.

Business Consort, which has centres in the North West and London, is in its 12th year of helping businesses and individuals improve their digital knowledge. The summer school will join an extensive roster of services by the company, including corporate in-house training, certified online courses and digital marketing qualifications.

A recent report by accrediting body Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) states that just eight per cent of UK marketers possess entry level digital skills.

Business Consort’s latest survey – which polled 150 senior level marketers across the UK – supports this notion, as it concluded that most professionals lack in confidence when it comes to search marketing, online advertising, analytics, strategy and planning.

DMI’s latest Digital Skills Report also found that strategy and planning capabilities need to be improved across UK businesses if the digital skills gap is to be bridged.

McGruer continued: “Digital can bring serious commercial benefits and it must be made an integral part of any business strategy.

“The demand for professionals with digital skills is far outweighing the supply of talent, and there’s an evident requirement to up-skill our workforce.

“The summer school webinars will cover the topics that marketers are least confident in and we hope it provides a viable option for busy individuals to broaden their digital toolkit – something we’re extremely passionate about.”

The launch of summer school follows the announcement that Business Consort has grown its Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) qualification offering by five, now running courses in digital marketing, social media marketing, search marketing, strategy and planning and social selling.

For more information about Business Consort, visit: www.digitalandsocialmediaacademy.com