UK firms face digital skills gap

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that there is a divide in the UK economy, with many firms lagging far behind when it comes to digitisation.

The CBI says that despite the fact that Britain takes the global lead in e-commerce and is at fifth place for availability of technology, it ranks 14th for companies adopting digital technology. Research from the CBI and IBM shows that only 55% of firms were adopting cutting edge processes and 45% were lagging behind. Furthermore, research from Barclays has found that businesses are investing an average of £109 per year in digital skills training for each employee, yet 43% of employers sill have trouble implementing initiatives to upskill their staff.

The research also found that there is a perceived advantage of youth when it comes to digital skills. 45% of employers said they felt older employees are slow to pick up new tech skills, while 59% of staff claimed that they were concerned about being replaced by a younger, more digitally advanced employee. 27% of bosses noted the importance of data security, which was found to be a highly regarded skill.

Despite the fact that a third of employers polled expressed concern about their staff’s ability to do their job properly due to a lack of digital skills, only 19% intend to increase their investment in technology and training over the next five years. The CBI has called on firms to appoint a chief digital or technology officer to the senior executive team.

Now could be the time to undertake a digital audit of your firm.


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