FourthRev reveals concerns of digital skill shortage in UK


New research from FourthRev reveals over half of UK businesses are concerned about missing out on key strategic deliverables as a result of digital skills shortages
.

As the UK government looks to rebound and seek ways to drive the post-pandemic economic recovery, the message from business leaders is clear: more needs to be done to close the digital economy skills gap. Without this investment, the new study found that four in five UK businesses will need to recruit overseas within the next 12 months to acquire the digital skills they need, highlighting the unrealised potential for job seekers in the UK.

Without access to the right quality and quantity of talent, well over half of the businesses reported they were concerned about missing out on key strategic deliverables (60%) within the next five years and not delivering value to shareholders (55%). The new study also found that four in five UK businesses (81%) felt they would need to recruit talent from overseas within the next 12 months to deliver on key growth objectives and that just over half (53%) would pay over the odds to acquire the digital skills they need.

This latest research from FourthRev surveyed more than 100 HR, talent acquisition and Learning and Development (L&D) executives from a wide range of sectors, including finance, IT, manufacturing, media, consulting, government, utilities and retail.

Across these industries, 54% reported finding it difficult to source good candidates for entry-level digital economy roles, while data analytics, cybersecurity and programming skills were the top skills identified as a priority in the next 12 months.

A key cause for concern amongst employers (88%) is a lack of confidence in the existing structures of the education sector to deliver the graduates and upskilling provisions that are needed to rebound from the pandemic and thrive in the digital economy. With only 15% of organisations backing digital skills boot camps as a way to close the gap and 22% feel that university alone would provide the right skillsets, 66% of talent leaders would prefer a hybrid solution that combines academic qualifications as well as a practical work portfolio.

Commenting on the research, FourthRev founder Jack Hylands said, “COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of organisations in the UK, with many adopting new technologies to adapt to and bounce back from the pandemic. This has made digital skills even more highly valued, but our employer poll shows businesses simply aren’t able to access the skills they require. While there are a number of causes involved here, the research highlighted a key contributing factor being a lack of confidence that the education sector can support the development of applied digital skills and highly impactful learning experiences aligned to the future of work.

“What we now need is a hybrid solution that allows higher education (HE) and industry to join forces. Employers clearly value a combination of the two, so by merging their unique strengths there is significant potential to deliver up-to-date and industry-relevant education for learners across all demographics, no matter if you are an undergraduate or currently in a non-digital role looking to upskill. As any recovery from the current crisis hinges on the development of digital capabilities across the workforce, rethinking the relationship between university and industry must be made a priority.”

Simon Quinton, UKI Country Manager for the world’s leading analytics platform, Tableau,  commented:  “It is not surprising to see data analysis and data science topping the list of skills that employers are seeking over the next year. The ability to use data to have better business conversations has become a mission critical differentiator for most organisations. It is great to be working with a company like FourthRev to help learners develop the hands on, practical experience needed, no matter where they are at in their data skills journey.”

To bring universities and industry closer together, FourthRev have formed partnerships with many of the world’s biggest tech companies, including AWS, GitHub and Tableau, and top universities to co-design and deliver HE courses that offer a direct pathway to qualifications and employment in the digital economy. These courses increase learner choice and offer pathways to acquiring in-demand skills and industry certificates, all while allowing students to earn credit toward a degree.

READ MORE:

FourthRev also works with a range of major education partners, such as FutureLearn, to bring industry and HE closer together, while its courses are currently available via 11 higher educational providers. The start-up has a catalogue of over 60 courses, which it is expected to deliver to more than 2,000 learners over the next 12 months.

For more news from Top Business Tech, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily bulletin!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

Unlock the Power of WiFi 6: How To Leverage It...

TBT Newsroom • 01st March 2023

Are you tired of being left behind in the technological world? Well, fear not! WiFi 6 is here to save the day and bring your business into the future. With unprecedented speeds and a host of new capabilities, WiFi 6 is the must-have technology for any business looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Sustainable Phones

TBT Newsroom • 04th May 2022

Cat phones (made by UK-based company Bullitt Group) are explicitly designed to be rugged, with devices built to last and have a longer lifespan. Industry Analyst firm Canalys notes that the current average lifecycle of smartphones in the mass market is approximately 37 months for iPhones and 33 months for Android devices.

From Credit Cards To Mobile Payment  

Ripsy Plaid • 27th April 2022

Plaid, the open finance data network, and payments platform have appointed Ripsy Bandourian as its first Head of Europe as it continues to rapidly expand across the continent. Based in Amsterdam, Ripsy will lead the business strategy and operations for Plaid’s Europe arm as it moves into its next stage of growth. 

How biometric technology can be used for remote proof of...

Chris Corfield • 08th April 2022

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital financial services, driving organizations to speed up their transformation programs globally. Most banks, as well as pension providers, are still in the early stages of integrating technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and as the world continues to battle the long-term effects of COVID-19, the...