What with all of the hustle and bustle of last week’s conference, and of course the long bank holiday weekend, you might have missed the fact that last week we launched a brand new online course – Make Money Work.Launching it at the conference really did feel like perfect timing (I love it when a plan comes together!), with so much talk of the launch of Universal Credit. Lord Freud summed it up perfectly for me at the conference when he said that digital inclusion and financial inclusion go hand in hand. If you’re digitally excluded, you won’t bank online and so you can’t check your balance easily. If you’re digitally excluded, you can’t look around for discounts and the best savings accounts or credit card rates, and you’re unlikely to pay your bills by direct debit and to take advantage of the savings this can provide. Put simply, you’re excluded from getting the most out of your money. Universal Credit will reflect the payment pattern of a salary, so it will be paid into a bank account as a monthly payment. If someone is getting housing benefit to pay their rent it will be paid to the person and not directly to the housing provider, so it’s very important that people recieving Universal Credit have a bank account and get the help they need to budget monthly. Our new Making Money Work online course is pitched at a level that’s easy for everyone to follow, and introduces people to the basics of managing money, including things like budgets, saving, borrowing and planning for the future. It’s just a start – there’s another course in the pipeline. We know that digital inclusion and financial inclusion go hand in hand, and we want to do more. If you’ve got ideas for how we can help to link digitally excluded people up with the tools and skills they need to help manage their money, whilst we’re helping them to use the internet, please let me know. In the meantime, do take a look at the Make Money Work course here.