In today's increasingly digital world, digital skills have become a necessity in almost every field of work and the gains in digitalisation were hugely accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology is now developing at a faster rate than workforces and employees can keep up with. Many companies are struggling to get the talent with the right skills into the workplace with many individuals lacking the necessary skills to take advantage of the technology and digital tools now available. As a result, organisations are searching for candidates with digital expertise, and candidates are looking for employers who are willing to train them.
According to a recent report by the Learning & Work Institute, 92% of organisations state that digital skills are key to success, helping to drive growth, innovation and productivity. Of those surveyed, 23% of employers admit that their existing workforce lacks basic digital skills. The significance of this on organisations is evident: two-thirds of employers believe that a lack of digital skills will affect the profitability of their business.
In this blog we look at how bridging the digital skills gap is critical for both individuals and organisations to remain competitive and thrive in this digital age and how what companies can do to bridge the gap.
Training Programmes & Mentoring
Companies can look at offering training programs that teach employees how to use digital tools and technologies. These programs can be in-house or outsourced, and they can be tailored to the specific needs of the organisation. Training programs can range from basic computer skills to advanced data analysis and programming. We are also seeing a shift in mentoring, traditionally older, more experienced professionals would train mentees.
However, we are now seeing reverse mentoring, where the roles are switched and younger employees who tend to have a higher level of digital skills are able to educate their more, experienced colleagues on how to use different technologies.
Taking Control of Learning
Regardless of your seniority, industry, or profession – every employee should be constantly keeping themselves in the loop with what technological advancements are taking place. Keeping on top of the changes affecting your industry is crucial and learning how to keep your skills relevant.
For example, employees could start by reaching out to the tech experts such as Cloud architects and developers within their organisations and ask them to share their knowledge. Following tech experts on social media will also help to keep up with changes taking place in real-time. In an age of free online webinars, podcasts and a wealth of blogs, employees can quite easily upskill in their own time. Keeping in the loop with new and upcoming technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and The Internet of Things (IoT) will help employees as these technologies become part of every, day working lives.
Access to Digital Tools
Access to the relevant digital tools is essential for individuals to develop and improve their digital skills. Organisations can provide employees with access to digital tools such as online courses, software programs, and digital libraries. Access to these tools can help individuals stay up to date with the latest technologies and learn new skills.
Using the Right Recruitment Agencies
In the constantly evolving tech landscape, businesses are faced with unique organisational challenges that require a demand for specialist talent. This means its more important than ever to work with the right IT recruitment agencies and partners to help find the right talent and prevent the digital gap widening.