Technology has been changing the face of the world for years now, evolving quickly and changing rapidly. During the current pandemic, technology has played a leading role, with many businesses becoming remote overnight and employees adapting to working from home. All of the online tools available to us have made it possible for digital and tech jobs to keep going as normal – a pretty amazing feat. Because of this, there is a large expectation on the digital industry to help pick the economy back up as we exit the coronavirus pandemic and look at getting back to a new normal.
The growth of tech has required businesses to continually update their workers’ skills to remain up to date and competitive. There is an expectation that employees must now keep up to date with the changing digital landscape and upskill, retrain and reassess their skills regularly.
The way that technology rapidly changes disrupts the nature of work and increases the demand for new digital skills to be acquired. Due to this, the demand for employees with top-level digital skills is high.
How do we fix the UK’s digital skills gap?
Tackling the digital skills gap needs to start at the root of the problem first – education. Students need to be armed with the skills that employers need meaning that access to quality digital skills training needs to be available and accessible. Compulsory digital training in further or higher education could make this a reality, equipping students with the basic technical skills required in most jobs.
The current school curriculum needs an overhaul, with the current basic tools and software not cutting it. Young people have an interest in digital skills so there needs to be better collaboration with larger tech companies and programmes to assist schools in providing better quality resources and learning materials.
“To help provide opportunities for all to digitally skill and reskill, the tech industry has worked together with the Department for Education on the skills toolkit, a new online learning platform to help boost the nation’s skills while people stay at home.”Computer Weekly
In the workplace, it’s important to develop and nurture the digital/technical skills of current employees, with comprehensive training and quality resources and programmes. Training is a key solution to the skills gap.
Employers must address the gap too, by investing time (and money) in their employees to maintain digital skills and keep the level and standard high. Whether this means bringing in the resources to train staff members or sending them on third-party courses to keep them fresh – it’s required to remain competitive.
The current global pandemic has highlighted the digital skills gap and made it clear that there needs to be a change to providing equal access to digital training and resources to meet the needs of the current economy.
This is the perfect opportunity to tackle the issue head-on to begin developing diverse talent and skills across the UK.