Addressing The Digital Skills Shortage – Is Your Business Prepared?
UK businesses are falling short in terms of digital skills so are you prepared for the future?
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many small, medium sized and large businesses.
Whether it’s staff shortages, reduced demand for services and products or skills shortages in specific sectors – it has hit many companies hard.
But one of the most significant revelations as we emerge from the pandemic and which is affecting every business, whatever the size, is the shortage of digital skills within the workplace.
Innovation foundation NESTA has found that digital skills shortages cost the UK £2bn annually.
That figure could rise further during the post-Covid 19 recovery period.
And industry experts are warning the UK is facing a digital skills disaster if the UK doesn’t address the shortfall and become globally competitive with these new skills.
Digital skills are skills for the future and can include anything from sending emails and taking part in video calls to more complex digital data handling such as data science and coding.
And there’s also digital advertising and other online platforms, packages and expanding social media channels which still haven’t been around for all that long.
What digital skills might your business need?
The digital world is constantly evolving so it’s important to keep up-to-speed with the latest trends.
It’s also important to consider what digital skills you need for your specific business requirements which may include:
- Digital product design
- Data engineering
- Automation and robotics
What can your business do to plan ahead?
Whatever your business specialises in, digital skills are likely to be a key requirement to help you progress and will be fundamental to your future development.
According to a government report in 2019, digital skills were required in 82% of job adverts posted over a one year period between 2017 and 2018.
150 million jobs are likely to be created in the digital and technology sector in the next 5 years.
So what can you do to make sure you can these skills are embedded into your business plan and that you are well prepared?
Evaluate employee skills – You may think you know your workforce but it’s important to take a step back and assess what each team member offers and the digital skills they alreadyhave which add value to your organisation.
Provide digital training – Continuous learning is key in any workplace so consider offering in-house and online digital training programmes and seminars to give your employees opportunities to improve their digital knowledge and learn new skills.
Invest in technology – If you stand still technology advancements can mean you’re suddenly playing catch-up. Make sure, where affordable, your business provides the latest technology for employees to benefit from.
Use data to enhance business decision making – Data is king in today’s world. So making sure you have access to insightful data sources and intelligence can help you plan for the future and support your digital strategy.
Whatever stage your business is at in terms of your digital progress, you’ll need to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and trends.
If you don’t, you run the risk of your business being left behind.