The UK still faces a major digital skills shortage

The UK still faces a major digital skills shortage

New research from CRM giant Salesforce (opens in a new tab) suggests an alarming proportion of UK workers lack confidence in their digital abilities, despite ranking digital skills as the most important for the future place labor.

The report follows the UK's Autumn Statement, in which the chancellor "committed to making the UK the 'world's next Silicon Valley,'" according to Salesforce chief executive Zahra Bahrololoumi.

The study of more than 2000 people says workers blame their current employers for their lack of skills, with 33% saying their jobs don't offer enough opportunities for advancement. Almost half (48%) of the participants wanted to have a digital education opportunity at school.

UK Digital Skills

Despite being covered in schools across the UK to varying degrees, Salesforce believes that the next generation of workers (currently aged between 13-18) lacks awareness of the importance of digital skills, ranking them in seventh place.

Salesforce also found that gender inequality remains an issue that needs to be addressed in tech, with IT jobs ranking fifth for boys and not even in the top 10 for girls.

“It is particularly worrying that today's schoolchildren still do not recognize digital skills as a priority for their future careers. We are failing the next generation and urgently need to educate parents and children on the importance of digital skills at all levels,” Bahrololoumi said.

The solution, according to Salesforce, is a collaborative effort between industry, training providers, and educational institutions to create a national online digital skills platform. To kick things off, he announced a grant worth more than £1,1 million to support educational programs in the UK.