One in three UK employees fear they lack tech skills: Why training is key

Don't know where to start when it comes to acquiring digital skills? You're not the only one

John Schnobrich via Unsplash

If you find it difficult to keep up with new technologies at work, then be reassured that you are not the only one feeling somewhat overwhelmed. One in three UK employees fear they are lacking skills when compared with their colleagues and believe that because of this they would be overlooked for promotion, according to a survey by OnePoll for PeopleCert in 2019.

The same study found that 67 per cent think retraining could “reignite” their career, and would consider learning new skills for their current role, such as coding, data analytics, cloud computing and digital marketing.

Bosses also say they are concerned. Research conducted by Burning Glass Technologies for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, found that 52 per cent of business leaders think technology evolves too quickly for their organisations to keep up with the changing skills required, and 10 per cent don’t know where to start when it comes to developing a digital training strategy.

The same study found that the lack of appropriate digital skills at intermediate and senior management levels has the most significant impact on their businesses.

It also showed that age appears to have an impact on how keen we are to have access to more digital training. Two thirds (67%) of 18-35 year olds said they would be receptive to more digital training from their employers, with 22% of younger employees even funding their own training in this area.

By contrast, just one in four people over 55 said that they would like digital skills training.

Julie O’Sullivan has been working in advertising and copywriting for more than 20 years. She returned to freelancing after taking time out for kids — but found the skills required had changed and she needed to invest in training. “ Within just a few years, social media, SEO have changed the way we do things,” she says.

“Back in the day all you had to do was write. This is not the case any more. I was confident I had the experience and the copywriting skills, but I wanted to enhance my digital skills to ensure I stay on top of things, so I decided to take an online course on digital media.”

In order to keep up with a world that is constantly changing, ongoing learning and training is key, says David Willett, commercial director in the Open University’s Business Development Unit.

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