The digital skills gap has been a long-standing problem for UK businesses. Now, fresh data has underscored that impact, with 81% of UK managing directors saying a lack of digital skills is negatively affecting their company.
A survey of 5,000 UK workers, commissioned by AND Digital for its Nature of the UK’s Digital Skills Gap report, backed up concerns that a lack of digital skills is hurting the economy.
The report found that around 22% of employees admitted a lack of digital skills was impacting their ability to hit targets and more than half (58%) said they had received no digital training from their employers.
“Digital skills mean so much more than just technical skills. It also includes professional skills, such as product and delivery management,” said Paramjit Uppal, AND Digital founder and CEO.
“Individuals and teams with such skills are vital in creating a digital future, and for businesses to see continued growth and success.”
The report found that a key issue is a lack of understanding from both organisations and employees over what digital skills are. According to Uppal, companies will need to be able to upskill employees to meet the demand for digital skills and to do so requires a clearer understanding of the skills gap.
“In the next three years, AND Digital estimates the UK workforce will require eight million individuals proficient in digital skills to close the gap,” Uppal said.
“This means organisations must prioritise digital upskilling – ensuring individuals, teams and organisations as a whole are fit for a digital present and future and helping to prevent economic stagnation.”
The government (then under the premiership of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson) addressed the digital skills gap briefly at London Tech Week, where it unveiled the digital strategy.
The strategy has since come under some criticism for not effectively addressing the skills gap.