HR and L&D Directors turn to specialist digital learning organisations to tackle digital skills

The opportunities and challenges of the digital revolution have escaped no-one, but a particularly thorny area has been how to embed digital knowledge and skills in the corporate workforce. Surrounded by the digital devices and numerous consumer applications that are changing our lives (Uber, Amazon, airbnb), it is all too easy to assume that companies themselves have embraced all that digital has to offer.

However in talking to HR leaders from major corporates, the reality is that companies are short of the skills and capabilities required to exploit the potential of digital. Leaders are increasingly looking at a range of approaches to address the digital skills gap.

At a recent HRD roundtable with leading HR and L&D directors Tanith Dodge, who is a former M&S HR supremo and now HR Head at Value Retail (which owns the Bicester village complexes), said that the rise of digital has meant that existing learning and development content has not caught up with what the workforce needs. The general consensus from the attendees, who represented HSBC, BT and the Department for Education amongst others, was that a range of approaches was required to meet the digital development of corporates.

As a result this has led to specialist digital learning organisations coming to the market, focussed on helping corporates address the skills gap. One such organisation present at our roundtable was AVADO, which has developed a range of solutions, spanning digital bootcamps, online digital courses, and bite-sized continuous digital skills development. They are behind the very successful Squared Online, the Digital Marketing Course developed with Google programme, which counts Disney, Coca Cola and iProspect amongst its clients. Increasingly they are providing a blend of solutions to meet client needs, servicing thousands of employees.

It is clear that the digital journey for many corporates is only just started, but the strategic importance of getting the right digital skills into the workforce is one that HR and L&D directors will need to take the lead on in order to be successful.

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