Tips & Tricks

"A lack of Digital Skills in the UK is hampering economy growth..."

This is the message being conveyed within a recent report by e-Skills, along with the message that 300,000 Digital Workers must be recruited by 2020 in order for the economy to reach its full potential.

With many computer graduates leaving university each year, technology workers are viewed as one of the most highly qualified sectors.  Yet, last year, computer graduates had the highest unemployment rate six months after leaving university and the report tells us that almost 1/5 of all vacancies are currently difficult to fill due to a lack of the required IT skills.
So, how can this be?   Well, a suggestion by ‘Mashable’ is that a student’s degree may not be equipping an individual with the specialised digital skills needed within business today.  In particular, recruitment difficulties are most acute in the more senior roles, such as IT Architects, Security Specialists and Analysts/Developers.  And, with this short-fall in skills, the pipeline of talented IT specialists is a real concern.
And, it’s not only the senior roles and specialisms that are producing such surprising statistics;  the charity Go On UK quote that 16 million people in the UK don’t have basic online skills, 9 million have never used the Internet and £5.1 billion could be saved by developing and promoting digital public services.
So, what exactly are Digital Skills and what can be done to improve them?  Well, at one end of the scale they are IT skills necessary to perform most job roles across all sectors, such as general typing and keyboard use, adapting to technological changes and the updating of systems, staying up to date with social media, setting up a Wi-Fi network, backing up to the Cloud and using Google Drive and Office. And at the other end of the scale, they are the specialised skills stated earlier, such as Architecture and Security.
To help fill the general IT skills gap for individuals and organisations, it’s important to not only focus on the traditional needs, such as  general Microsoft Office and other productivity software skills (e.g. an Introduction, Intermediate or Advanced Excel course) but also to examine those other core digital skills which are just as important.  For example, how effectively can the workforce use their work-mobile phones or tablets, effectively communicate by e-mail, save and retrieve files and data stored locally and  in the cloud?   These are key skills necessary for employees to have in order for the organisation to thrive yet they are proving to be so often overlooked.
Training does not have to be excessively expensive.  There are cost effective options such as short courses, distance learning or e-learning ‘bite-sized’ modules.  Ask us for more information about our new courses which encompass the digital skills.  And, the key message here is, although finding and retaining suitably skilled staff is recognised as a key challenge, the Return on Investment is huge - it allows a business to grow and capitalise on the opportunities that emerging technologies offer.