More and more jobs require digital skills for employees to be successful in their roles. However, a recent study found that the UK is heading towards a digital skills shortage disaster.

So, why is the UK currently facing a digital skills gap? And what can businesses do to overcome the challenges it’s presenting?  We’ve covered everything you need to know in this blog.

WHY Is the UK facing a digital skills gap?

A recent report showed that 9 in 10 UK organisations admit to having a digital skills shortage. Yet, it’s believed that our nation is the fifth most digitally advanced country in Europe. So, how have we found ourselves in this situation?

Well, there are several reasons. Emerging technology is one of them. We’re living in the digital age and industries are fast changing.

This means the workforce needs to be equipped to embrace new working methods driven by technology. This includes apps and platform services that are designed to create new modes of collaboration and business efficiency.

Consumer trends have changed, too. The rise of eCommerce and social media has led more people to switch their shopping habits and engage with products and services online, instead of taking a trip to their local high street.

Employees need to have the relevant skills to keep up with these trends. However, there’s a lot for them to learn and it’s clear many businesses are finding it difficult to make it happen. Here’s what you can do about it.


How can upskilling your workforce have an impact?

The need for businesses to get to grips with the digital world has never been more urgent. One of the most efficient and effective ways to make this a reality is to create a culture of upskilling.

Upskilling is about anticipating the right skills for the future and providing the necessary training to your employees so they can learn these skills and share them across your entire workforce.

For example, there’s an ever-growing need for businesses to become more data-driven. However, learning how to analyse data and make decisions using it isn’t something you can just read in a book and pick up overnight.

Instead, employees need to understand how data works and the best practices of analysis. This is a scenario where upskilling could make a big difference.

By allowing certain members of your workforce to go off-site and learn about data in great detail, you can be assured they’ll return to the office with the relevant skills needed to become in-house experts who can share their skills with other team members.

This is just one scenario where upskilling can impact your operation to drive efficiency, collaboration and ensure better results. But how do you even get started with an upskilling programme?


start to Plug the gaps with staff training

The Learning & Work Institute's research revealed that 70% of young people expect employers to invest in teaching them digital skills on the job. Still, only half of the employers surveyed in the study are actually providing training.

These statistics highlight the importance of investing in staff training if businesses want to retain their staff and attract the best talent to join them.

Yet the benefits of providing staff training don’t end there. Staff training also plays a critical role in upskilling the workforce to keep up to date with technological and business developments as their roles evolve.

Take social media, for example. It’s predicted that global social media usage is set to reach 4.41 billion by 2025. This means new platforms will come onto the scene and businesses must learn how to use them to stay connected.

By enrolling your employees into a digital training programme, they’ll learn all about the ins and outs of social media and be taught the relevant skills needed to successfully incorporate social media into your overall strategy.

They’ll also feel empowered to teach their colleagues about social media and support you in plugging the skills gaps within your business.

Enrolling your staff on a training programme to plug social media skills gaps is just one example. This approach can address many other aspects of the digital skills gaps your business might be facing.


Working with the right partner makes all the difference

However, to ensure your training is successful, you need to work with the right training partner. That’s where we can make a real difference.

Find out more about Ascento, our different digital marketing courses and how we can help your business overcome the UK digital skills gap by downloading a copy of our digital marketing brochure.

It’s available to download via the banner below.

Digital Marketing Programme

Oliver Simpson

Written by Oliver Simpson