The CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors
The CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors

Two-thirds of British firms unable to fill digital positions: Report

ANI | Updated: Jun 04, 2019 11:48 IST

London [Britain], June 4 (ANI): Britain is losing out on 63 billion pounds a year as companies struggle to find people with digital skills, a study by the Confederation of British lndustry and Tata Consultancy Services said on Tuesday.
This could jeopardise the country's competitiveness, deter investment and limit people's ability to make the most of the opportunity technology brings, it said. The study titled 'Delivering Skills for the New Economy' surveyed 250 companies and highlights Britain's rapidly accelerating digital talent gap as new technologies transform the way we live and work.
According to the report, over two thirds (67 per cent) of companies across Britain have unfilled digital vacancies. One in five firms is unable to find employees with basic computer skills -- including writing documents and using spreadsheets. Advanced digital skills are in greater demand in all sectors with 55 per cent of larger firms reporting challenges in recruiting software engineers and 61 per cent struggling to hire data analysts.
The majority of companies surveyed are taking action to tackle their digital skills shortages, with 56 per cent of businesses confident they are spending enough on addressing their digital skills needs right now. But in reality, almost half of businesses (46 per cent) are fishing in the same pool, by trying to hire outside of their organisation as the main way to access the digital skills they need.
Around 60 per cent of larger firms surveyed said their digital skills needs are set to skyrocket over the next three to five years, but less than a third (31 per cent) are confident that the British business community will be able to access the digital skills they need in the next three to five years.
"ln today's digital economy, there are two key focuses for sustainable talent development: encouraging students to understand what it takes to pursue a successful career in technology, and giving employees the best possible training opportunities," said Shankar Narayanan, Vice President and Country Head of TCS UK and Ireland.
"This new research with the CBI makes it clear that for Britain's economy to remain competitive, it is important to urgently invest in reskilling the current workforce and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in technology," he said in a statement.
The CBI recommended that the government must set an ambitious target for the entire British workforce to have basic digital skills by 2025 and work with businesses to engage with relevant academic and technical education institutions. Businesses must better understand their digital skills needs and coordinate with local policymakers, businesses and learning providers to create local skills provision that addresses their skills demands.
Besides, it must be ensured that digital skills are at the heart of the National Retraining Scheme, including targeted support for software engineering and data analysis skills.
"Technology is changing the way we live and work, creating millions of jobs and adding 184 billion pounds to Britain's economy," CBI's Chief Britain Policy Director Matthew Fell. "Yet this new data reveals the majority of firms are struggling to fill digital roles across all sectors and skills levels -- with demand set to skyrocket in the next few years."