Bridge the Digital Skills Gap, Boost your Business and Support Youth Employment

Recruitment has changed significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak and this is especially true for young people just finishing school or college. The government has expressed concern about long-term unemployment for young people, especially those who have limited work experience due to the current climate and with this mind, it is worth considering why hiring younger employees has its benefits.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said “young people in particular, I believe, should be guaranteed an apprenticeship” and while this belief doesn’t constitute an actual guarantee, it is a good sign which suggests businesses are going to be encouraged to take on apprentices. What’s more, bringing younger employees into your company can help to ensure you’ve got easy access to their IT-fluency and digital skillsets, something older employees do not always have to hand.

A government study from 2019 found that 82% of advertised job openings required some level of digital skills. Young people today have been brought up fully in a digital world, so their fluency is natural and can be tapped into with ease. With the right training and guidance, the skills young employees have developed naturally throughout their life can become targeted business tools. Underestimating the importance of digital skills can be very dangerous for businesses and a further study by Accenture suggested that not closing the digital skills gap could hit the UK economy with as much as a £141.5bn forfeit of the GDP growth over the next decade.

Apprentices Bring New Skills and Potential Profit

You may not have considered apprentices for your business, many don’t realise there are apprenticeships available in technical and office-based skills as well as manual, and many businesses are missing out because of this. As well as the funding benefits, an apprentice gives a business the chance to shape their model employee. Employers can train their apprentices to an extremely high level without the high costs that come with regular employee training, or headhunting costs.

Apprentices can be trained specifically in your business area as well as wider business skills. Key Training offers apprenticeships in a range of business area from customer service to management, allowing employers to benefit from an apprentice passionate about their specific area of interest and perfectly suited to their business. Add to this the digital fluency that younger people bring, and your business has a burgeoning asset.

While we’re yet to see whether Boris Johnson’s ‘guarantee’ of apprenticeships will become a reality, it is a timely reminder of how fantastic investing in younger employees can be. Apprenticeships give businesses the chance to boost their productivity, profit and skillset and they give a young person the chance at a career they’re passionate about.