Posted on June 13, 2016 by staff

UK at risk of falling behind due to ‘digital skills crisis’


A government report has warned that the nation’s productivity is at risk from a digital skills crisis.

Ahead of the publication of the Government’s digital strategy, the Commons Science and Technology Committee said the UK needs another 745,000 workers with digital skills by 2017.

“Digital exclusion has no place in 21st Century Britain,” it stated.

“While the government is to be commended for the actions taken so far… stubborn digital exclusion and systemic problems with digital education and training need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in the government’s forthcoming digital strategy.”

The report found that just 35 per cent of computer science teachers had a relevant qualification, only 70 per cent of the required number of computer science teachers have been recruited and that 22 per cent of IT equipment in schools is ineffective.

It added that 90% per cent of jobs now require digital skills and that the skills gap costs economy around £63billion a year in lost income.

Around 12.6 million adults are thought to lack basic digital skills.

The committee’s chairwoman Nicole Blackwood said: “The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind.

“We need to make sure tomorrow’s workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need.”

A government spokesperson responded: “This government recognises the crucial role digital skills play in our society and economy.

“Our Digital Strategy, to be published shortly, will set out how we will help employers and individuals access the tools they need to power our digital economy.

“This will make sure we are well placed to remain a tech leader in Europe.”

We recently reported how a majority of business leaders are worried that their companies are in denial about the need for digital transformation.