The digital skills gap continues to be a concern for UK business, but it’s not all gloominess ahead. By investing in solid recruitment solutions and training for your staff that meets the needs of developing technologies, you and your business could benefit dramatically. In this blog, we outline the advantages that preparing for the digital skills gap could have on your business and your individual employees.
Advantages for your business:
- Advantages over your competitors – Over the past several years, technology has developed at such a rapid pace that institutions and businesses have been unable to appropriately train their staff. Over 46 percent of UK employers believe that the digital skills gap is growing, with emerging technologies being classed as the main reason for this. As such, demand for skilled professionals, especially in the digital and IT sectors, has drastically increased. By preparing your business for the digital skills gap, your workforce will not only reduce the disruption in its business practices, but also improve its competitiveness in a changing environment.
- Exposure of new markets and opportunities – By encouraging your workforce to invest in training and upskilling, you will open your business to new markets and opportunities that already utilise these technological practices. By getting ahead of the curve, you may be able to access markets before your competitors.
- A more digitally skilled workforce – Currently, 68 percent of jobs advertised requiring digital skills are outside of IT roles. A large proportion of these skills are in data analysis and understanding digital markets which can cover a variety of roles, from sales to marketing and product development. Building these skills in your company across the board will reinforce your competitveness in its entirety, not just in the IT department.
For your employees:
- Increase in wages – Overall, due to the current skills demand, roles requiring digital skills pay 29 percent over those roles that do not. This provides a great incentive for your employees to upskill and train. The differential increases at higher levels, meaning even those in highly skilled jobs in your workforce would benefit from further training.
- Avoid the risk of robots stealing jobs – Automation is a big challenge to staff who work in businesses that currently use a lot of low-level labour in their workforce. By developing required specific digital skills, workers can reduce their risk of automation by 59 percent.
- Greater career progression – By focusing on developing specific digital skills in relation to their niche within the business, employees will increase their demand and chances of career progression across the sector. This may, for example, include advances in computer-aided design for engineers, or knowledge of automation software for digital marketers.
*All stats can be found in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s June 2019 report – Employer Demand for Digital Skills.
Need support deciding how to start? Birmingham City University’s service Higher Level Skills Match can help you identify your skills needs and develop an appropriate strategy for the development of new skills.