Digital Skills Gap Set to Hinder UK Productivity

As digital skills increasingly become the foundation of a competitive economy, businesses need to invest in digital training to increase productivity and stimulate innovation

The rapid pace of digital transformation is changing the nature of business in the UK and we must not only equip the next generation but those in the workforce today with the skills industries need. This is according to the CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, Alex Hilton.

Alex stated: “A recent report from the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons brought attention to the digital skills gap that the UK is currently facing, which is costing the country an estimated £83 billion each year in lost GDP. But this Report – launched before the Brexit decision in June – has yet to get a detailed response from Government and we believe that this will hinder the next generation currently in education, as well as those in work today.

“The Minister for the Digital Economy, Matt Hancock has stated himself that ‘I can group the facts and figures; 23 per cent of people currently lack basic digital skills, and about 90 per cent of new jobs now need some form of them.’ I think that what we’ve learnt following the Brexit vote is that the need to engage everybody is more demonstrable than ever before. This is a very important part of the Prime Minister’s agenda, and wider digital engagement is a key part of the broader issue to make an economy that works for everyone.” 

According to the Science and Technology Committee Report, the UK will need 745,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers between 2013 and 2017, and almost 90% of new jobs require digital skills to some degree. Some 72% of employers state that they are unwilling to interview candidates who do not have basic IT skills. As a result of emerging technologies, there is also a growing demand for high level digital skills in areas such as cyber-security, cloud and mobile computing and data analytics.

Alex continued: “There is clearly a need for the industry itself to step up to the plate and for individuals to self-learn, which is why we recently launched our Professional Membership and eLearning Schemes,”

“Tech City UK calculate that the average advertised salary in digital roles is just under £50,000 - 36% higher than the national average. But there is a pressing need for high level specialist skills in cloud computing, data science, cyber-security and data security as a result of high growth rates associated with key emerging technologies in which the UK has particular strengths such as the Internet of Things, Wearable Technology, Cloud and mobile computing, 5G and Big Data,” he added.

The Cloud Industry Forum itself provides a range of member services that enable individuals to access relevant, current and independent advice, guidance and expertise to help them make informed decisions, be more effective in their jobs and enhance their careers through accreditation.

CIF Professional Membership is designed for all individuals involved in the assessment, selection, adoption, integration and management of cloud technologies and services.

The scheme targets IT and business professionals alike and since its launch it has seen a rapid uptake in membership from those interested in understanding cloud computing. The scheme aims to not only provide industry professionals with on-going resources pertinent to cloud computing, but also to provide a market-recognised and respected certification programme.

Individual members now have direct access to a range of assets including the latest market research on trends and issues affecting the cloud computing industry, as well as an extensive online cloud resources library. The library - called the CIF Knowledge Hub - has over 300 papers and cloud resources available to its members.

CIF has a.lso developed a “Cloud Adoption Roadmap” as a framework to help its members identify key stages and steps associated with cloud adoption. Through this framework, CIF plans to help businesses accelerate and de-risk the cloud adoption journey.

Membership costs reflect the fact that this is aimed at industry and business professionals.

Standard membership fees are as follows:

  • CIF Professional Membership                                                £195 pa

(Professional Membership discounts are available for company memberships)

For more information, visit: www.cloudindustryforum.org/promember