Taking Down The Global Digital Skills Crisis
What is a digital skill?
For starters, let’s try and explain what a digital skill is. Are they even necessary in today’s world and how much does it mean to have digital skills?
Although The Science and Technology Committee says there is no single definition of the term “digital skills”, we accepted the explanation that digital skills are “the ability to use computers and digital services to access the internet, the ability to code or create software, as well as the ability to critically evaluate media.” Digital skills also indicate the ability to “navigate knowingly through the negative and positive elements of online activity and make informed choices about the content and services Internet users use“.
The importance of having digital skills
One of the latest reports by Global Technical Services claims that approximately 12.6 million adults lack basic digital skills, while 5.8 million have never used the Internet at all.
There is no doubt that the current global workforce is lacking basic digital skills, causing an alarming world-wide ‘digital skills crisis’, which damages many country’s productivity and competitiveness on the market.
Here are just some of the facts that the research asserts:
- 22% of IT equipment in schools is ineffective
- Only 35% of computer science teachers had a relevant qualification
- 70% of the required number of computer science teachers have been recruited
- The UK needs 745,000 more workers with digital skills
- Skills gap costs economy around £63bn a year in lost income
Contrary to many people’s belief, research has found that 90% of jobs require digital skills, meaning that the most world countries need a decent number of employees with digital skills requirements. For example, UK needs another 745,000 laborers with these capabilities, only by the end of this year. This discrepancy between supply and demand is costing the UK economy approximately £63 billion, and presenting a serious recruitment problem.
The lack of digital skills has a huge impact on businesses, as well. Shockingly, three in four UK businesses have reported a digital skills shortage among their employees, despite 84% of firms admitting that IT and digital skills are more important to their enterprise now than two years ago, according to a study released by the BCC (British Chambers of Commerce).
According to these findings, the digital skills gap is now damaging the prospects of many firms. More than half of businesses say that the issue is increasing staff workloads and 29% report that the digital skills shortage is leading to higher operating costs.
Adam Marshall, The Director of the BCC, shared his opinion on the digital skills crisis, as well: “The evidence is clear: better digital skills make firms more productive, and a lack of digital skills holds them back.”
Businesses themselves need to do a lot more to tackle the digital skills shortages they face, and their leaders need to be alive to the fact that a failure to tackle this issue will have an impact on their bottom line. Too many firms are stuck in an unproductive cycle, where the failure to take action has serious consequences.
Training providers can give firms a helping hand, by engaging with companies on their digital needs and helping them to free up resources for growth. Government must help as well, by recognising that some of the high-level digital skills businesses need will come from overseas so a pragmatic immigration system needs to be in place to provide firms with access to the workers required to fill the gaps.”
Businesses of all sizes need to ensure their current supply of staff have digital skills training, whether it would be the challenging, small and medium enterprises, or larger, digital-savvy and tech heavy companies.
And even Zeqr’s own international business report has found that 50% of small businesses are lacking essential digital skills required to grow their companies, with SEO and social media expertise being top of the list.
However, for small businesses this is easier said than done, as training resources are time consuming and can be pretty expensive. Fortunately, there are flexible online routes available, which don’t involve bringing in an expensive, fixed-rate, external consultant to the workplace.
Thanks to the digital revolution, online training is easily accessible and can be sourced in small chunks, ensuring small business owners and individuals pay only for what is required, tailoring training packages or consultation requests to specific business needs.
Whether you are exploring employee training options, or are an individual looking to learn new digitals skills to be eligible for particular roles, access to knowledge is no longer limited.
Since Zeqr is aware of digital skill crisis, we arranged you a ton of online classes in order to learn various digital skills, which you can implement on running your business, or even doing your everyday job.
Whether you decide to engage in a Digital Marketing online session with Erwan Derlyn, or online SEO skills course with Lukasz Zelezny, Zeqr has a wide range of digital Xperts eager to share their insight and knowledge, which you easily find on our knowledge sharing platform.
To find the right Xpert for your needs, make sure to visit Zeqr’s search page.