Is the UK’s Digital Skills Gap set to Limit Economy Recovery?

The global economy has taken a hit like no other due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the UK, we’ve been dealt a double blow according to new research from Microsoft. In a new study, Unlocking the UK’s potential with digital skills, Microsoft worked in tandem with Goldsmiths, University of London, to assess the digital skills gap in the UK and how to tackle the problem.

80% of UK leaders believe investment in digital skills is important for the economic recovery of the country after Coronavirus and 78% also believe a large pool of digital talent is essential for the UK to be competitive. Digital skills are what employers are looking for and what businesses considering coming to the UK want from potential employees too.

The belief in the importance of digital skills is also apparent in employees themselves, with 59% of UK employees surveyed believing developing their digital skills will be important to future employability.

The issues come into play when we look at the responses to questions regarding the current level of digital skills in the country. 69% of UK business leaders believe their company is facing a digital skills gap and 64% of employees did not agree that they currently have the appropriate digital skills to fulfil new roles in their industry.

Coronavirus accelerates demand for Digital

The UK’s shortcomings have come under the spotlight as Coronavirus has led to digital resources and platforms becoming essential for day-to-day life. The average person has had to improve their digital literacy considerably, but this is even more important in business and industry. More research from CBI shows that 9 in 10 employees will need to need some form of reskilling by 2030, with businesses, government and individuals needing to increase spending on adult education by £130 billion over 10 years.

Microsoft’s Digital Skills Week comes to us at the end of April and it’s a time when we should be thinking of ways to improve digital education in our workplaces and consider the value of digital and tech-related education and courses. Existing employees could be upskilled in specific areas such as in individual software packages or data protection.

There is also scope to bring in new and engaged employees on board through digital apprenticeships, designed to fill gaps in key areas which your business needs.

Digital Skills Apprenticeships

Using apprentices to help bridge the growing digital skills gap ensures you’re bringing enthusiastic and focused employees into your business or offering those you already employ a chance to expand their skillset and move into a new career area.

We offer a range of apprenticeships in this field including:

Data Analyst Level 4 Apprenticeship – high level training for a career in data analysis including roles such as data scientist, data management, data architect and data analysist. Roles in the sector involve managing, cleansing, abstracting and working with data to deliver results.

Data Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship – data technicians collect and process data and interpret it for use in a wide range of industries and types of organisations. Roles suitable for apprentices who complete this training include junior data analyst, data technician and data support analyst.

Digital skills are becoming more and more important and both employers and employees themselves recognise the country isn’t currently equipped in the way it should be. Investing in digital skills is a positive step towards filling the digital skills gap which is much needed right now.