Digital skills crisis is damaging UK's productivity

Written by Mary Isokariari on 13 June 2016 in News
News

Ministers are warning the government, industry and education institutions to take urgent action to tackle the UK’s skills crisis.

Lack of digital skills is affecting Britain's productivity - Photo credit: Eric Gay/AP/PA
 
It is thought 12.6 million adults lack basic digital skills, while 5.8 million have never used the internet at all.

Training providers need to be listen to on the levy, says AELP 

Welsh construction sector urged to fulfil potential 

Lord Holmes: Unpaid internships are a stain on our society

A report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee has urged the government's digital strategy to be published without delay.​

"Stubborn digital exclusion and systemic problems" with education and training need to be urgently addressed, the report said.
 
It explains how the digital skills gap is damaging the country's productivity and economic competitiveness. This is costing the UK economy an estimated £63 billion a year in lost additional GD and damaging our productivity and economic competitiveness.
 
"Digital exclusion has no place in 21st Century Britain. While the Government is to be commended for the actions taken so far to tackle aspects of the digital skills crisis, stubborn digital exclusion and systemic problems with digital education and training need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in the Government’s forthcoming Digital Strategy. 
 
"In this report, we address the key areas which we believe the Digital Strategy must deliver to achieve the step change necessary to halt the digital skills crisis and bring an end to digital exclusion once and for all."
 
The report follows a recent House of Lords debate, which discussed ​the opportunities and challenges of fast-changing digital technologies.

The committee's chairwoman, Nicole Blackwood said: "It calls for businesses to invest more and better training at all levels of education. "The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind. We need to make sure tomorrow's workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need." 

The report found that:

  • 22 per cent of IT equipment in schools is ineffective.
  • Just 35 per cent of computer science teachers had a relevant qualification.
  • Only 70 per cent of the required number of computer science teachers have been recruited.
  • The UK needs another 745,000 workers with digital skills by 2017.
  • 90 per cent of jobs require digital skills to some degree.
  • Skills gap costs economy around £63bn a year in lost income.
"It is essential for the UK to have the IT professionals it needs to build a robust digital economy. The average advertised salary in digital roles is just under £50,000—36 per cent higher than the national average. The workforce, from highly skilled scientists to workers in manufacturing, are affected by the rapid changes in the use of technology in the workplace. 

"There is a lack of awareness of career opportunities within the digital sector, sometimes reflecting skill and gender stereotypes around the types of roles that exist.

"Many organisations are not maximising the potential of new digital technologies or utilising the skills and talents of their employees in the most productive way. Almost 50 per cent of employers have a digital skills gap, which includes specialist technical roles."

The committee is also calling for businesses to invest more and better training at all levels of education.

Blackwood added: "The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind. We need to make sure tomorrow's workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need."

Tags

Share this page

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

14 August 2018

Jon and Jo discuss the magazine and its topics of Understanding Business, OD and People Analytics.

3 August 2018

How can we make it ok to learn from mistakes? Bethany Taylor and Jo Cook share an in-depth look at some of the research and ideas

Categories

Tags

Related Sponsored Articles

20 May 2017

Trevor Wheatly discusses how 360° profiling can turn routine appraisals into practical assessments of performance based on the behaviours that matter in business.

10 September 2015

Hurix Systems announced today it has been short-listed for Red Herring's Top 100 Asia award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures in Asia.