The UK is facing a digital skills gap crisis.
What’s the impact and what is being done to help?
According to Accenture, if the digital skills gap continues, the UK economy could forfeit as much as £141.5 billion of the GDP growth promised over the next 10 years.
Currently, the UK is facing a major talent shortage. Brexit threatens to curb the flow of labour between Britain and the continent and the effects of an ageing population could mean 3 million jobs left unfulfilled by 2030. *
What is being done to close the gap? Companies that are aware of this potential shortage are busy hiring talent now and are providing appropriate training to their existing workforce.
Gillian Tans, chief executive of Booking.com suggests employee development is key.
“Without providing appropriate training, businesses will not be able to nurture the skills of their workforce and will ultimately fail to drive productivity and innovation. These are key to achieve competitive advantage,” she says.
These forward-thinking companies believe that with the right talent employed and the correct training for their staff, they will be ahead of their competitors in the next three to five years.
With the larger companies skimming the existing IT talent right now, where does that leave the rest of the country when that talent is already employed? Thankfully, universities such as MK:U in Milton Keynes recognise the need of digital skills in future generations. Their plans are to make the digital economy form the core of their curriculum and will specialise in key areas such as digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Professor Lynette Ryals, pro-vice-chancellor for education at MK:U says,
“This will be a 21st century university creating a more flexible career pathway. We’re not giving education just in case people need it. We are giving them an education that is relevant to their future career.”
TD Group can see this happen right now. E-commerce has had a huge impact and is one of the most rapidly-growing sectors worldwide. Candidates with strong digital, UX, full-stack, software development skills are being snapped up quickly by employers within this sector. In addition, there’s still a massive amount of potential for growth across a whole new set of industries such as AI and robotics. Some companies are still underestimating what is required in order to make the most of this technological progress. We’re here to help advise them on re-training and upskilling their workforce as well as adapting their hiring processes to foster new digitally savvy talent.