Recently UK businesses have been struggling to boost the skills of their workforce. This ever-widening skills gap could be a stark issue as if companies fail to upskill their staff it could become increasingly difficult to retain their workforce and adapt to technological advances.
To combat this business leaders in the UK have called for a shake-up of vocational education in an effort to tackle this shortage of skilled employees.
“With the skills gap costing our economy billions a year, more needs to be done to attract talent into technology and digital roles. Digital technology has reshaped our economy, with entire markets disrupted by digital challengers and companies everywhere developing new business models to take advantage of these changes. Despite this, people’s knowledge and skillsets simply haven’t kept pace.” said Jason Fowler, HR Director at Fujitsue.
Technology is becoming ever more crucial not only in closing the skills gap but also in increasing employee engagement and experience. “Digital has the potential to deliver a faster, more seamless and personalised experience in benefits which gives employees a greater sense of control and choice and the opportunity to take a more proactive approach. But organisations need to take a strategic approach to digital adoption, rather than pursuing siloed, one-off implementations which invariably lead to failure and frustration. Digital should never be an end in itself, it is simply a means to enhance the employee experience. Benefits leaders need to ensure they have the skills and partners in place to get things right first time and ensure new technology integrates with, and supports, the organisation’s overall digital transformation vision.” said Gareth Pickles, Managing Director, Capita Pensions and Benefits.
However with these technological advantages taking its toll on more companies, it’s also just as imperative for more employees to have expertise in this specific sector.
“A shortage of people working in digital and tech jobs has the potential to derail our journey towards a prosperous digital future. To sustain the competitiveness of the technology sector – and to ensure it’s driving forward the UK economy – businesses, government and educational institutions need to come together to ensure we are developing the next generation that will lead our future. Whether it’s public-private partnerships, retraining programmes or apprenticeships, there are many exciting paths to ensuring the UK is digitally savvy.” said James.
He concluded by saying “As we fast progress towards a ‘digital first’ nation we need to ensure we are investing in all talent at the very beginning of the digital journey and developing the right skills to support the future digital economy.”
The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2018 declared that ‘by 2022, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require additional training of up to six months, 9% will require reskilling lasting six to 12 months, while 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year’. If these stark statistics result in being as accurate as The World Economic Forum suggests, then training and development amongst staff are significant for businesses to further succeed in the near future.
“Agile learning will also be needed on the part of workers as they shift from the routines and limits of today’s jobs to new, previously unimagined futures. Finally, policy-makers, regulators and educators will need to play a fundamental role in helping those who are displaced repurpose their skills or retrain to acquire new skills and to invest heavily in the development of new agile learners in future workforces by tackling improvements to education and training systems, as well as updating labour policy to match the realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”