As UK MPs alert the public that the ‘digital skills crisis‘ is getting worse they’re calling for action from all businesses as soon as possible.
It is hard to take in that in the living generation of online productivity 12.6 million adults are believed to have a lack of standard basic digital skills and 5.8 million have never even used the internet before in their life!
According to a new report “stubborn digital exclusion and systemic problems” need to be dealt with immediately with the help of education and training. The document also directly suggests that the government should not withhold a ‘digital strategy’ and that it should be published immediately.
The report highlights that:
A shocking 22% of IT equipment in all schools is actually ineffective
Only 35% of computer science teachers have an actual relevant qualification
Just 70% of computer science teachers needed have actually been recruited
By 2017, the UK must have 745,000 workers with the right (if not basic) digital skills
Currently at least 90% of jobs in all sectors need a digital skill of some extent
The UK economy currently loses approximately £63 billion per year because of the skill gap
The Commons Science and Technology Committee have commented;
“Digital exclusion has no place in 21st Century Britain,
“While the government is to be commended for the actions taken so far… stubborn digital exclusion and systemic problems with digital education and training need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in the government’s forthcoming digital strategy.”
The report has requested that businesses invest their time in higher training through all levels of education including apprenticeships.
According to Nicole Blackwood the committee’s chairwomen;
“The UK leads Europe on tech, but we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind. We need to make sure tomorrow’s workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need.”
Responding – a government spokesperson;
“This government recognises the crucial role digital skills play in our society and economy. Our digital Strategy, to be published shortly, will set out how we will help employers and individuals access the tools they need to power our digital economy.
“This will make sure we are well placed to remain a tech leader in Europe. We will consider the Select Committee’s report and respond in due course.”