Bridging the digital skills gap

The Issue

The UK has a growing digital skills gap, with data continuing to show that there are not enough people with digital talent to keep up with demand from employers both in both the private and public sectors. Over eighty per cent of all jobs advertised in the UK now require digital skills, however, employers say the lack of available talent is the single biggest factor holding back growth. Estimates from the UK Government suggest the digital skills gap costs the UK economy as much as £63 billion a year in potential GDP.

The UK Government’s New Digital Strategy has recommended a number of initiatives to try to address this deficiency in the longer term but what’s to be done now, as doubling down on external recruitment efforts is not solving this critical issue?

Innovative Solutions

We think there are three key things companies can do to build digital skills now and also reduce the time it takes build digital solutions:

  1. Find people within your organisation that have innate digital skills but at the same time, widen your recruitment net to include people that don’t presently have the right level of digital skills. The tools now exist to help you carry out these assessments.
  2. Train these new people in digital skills but also upskill your existing digital personnel using state-of-the-art eLearning Solutions.
  3. Use Low/No Code tools to help less experienced personnel to develop, for example, native mobile apps. Indeed tools such as these can also be used to develop edge-based computing systems that can process IoT data in real-time!

Case Studies

  1. Finding innate digital skills – The Royal Lancer regiment is a historic part of the British Army tasked with carrying out reconnaissance missions, leading to a considerable amount of data being captured but not necessarily in a form that could be best assimilated and assessed. So, with the help of an innovative Australian company that ran an exercise to determine who within the regiment could be upskilled to create digital capture and analysis tools, massively increasing their effectiveness
  2. Upskilling staff with digital skills – The Ministry of Defence (MOD) used an eLearning system to upskill its entire Defence Digital workforce of some 3000 people leading to an unheard-of customer satisfaction score of 99%! The eLearning system they now use helps each employee plot and develop their own digital future, guiding them and helping on their way, no matter what their area of technical specialisation.
  3. Using no/low code platforms:
    • An NHS nurse, with no digital skills, used a no/low code platform from one of our firms to develop a prototype mobile app in just a few days, allowing anyone in her Trust to raise concerns about important issues (ethics, harassment, racism etc). With IT skills and time a rare commodity, the IT team was then able to swiftly make the app available to all 16,000 workers in the Trust, leading to an immediate impact on transparency!
    • The French energy company, Total, used another low code platform to create a system called TADI (Total Anomaly Detection Initiative) to improve their ability to predict major accidents before they occurred but failing that, to allow Total to respond immediately to incidents. It has been estimated that Total were able to develop this system in a tenth of the normal time!

If you want to learn more about the innovative solutions touched upon in this short paper please email innovation@clustre.net

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