The need for professionals who can confidently navigate the online world is growing faster than the workforce can supply.
According to a recent survey, a whopping 81% of UK directors have reported that a lack of digital skills has negatively impacted their business.
The report also shows a concerning skills gap, with 27% of employees feeling that they lack the digital skills needed for their role, and another 57% admitting to never receiving any digital skills training.
So, how can employers be prepared to embrace the digital world?
The first step is understanding what digital skills are and what makes them so important to workplaces across all industries.
What are digital skills?
Digital skills are the skills needed to perform online tasks or projects.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a computer genius to be digitally literate.
Some of the most essential skills are considered basic digital skills, such as using online spreadsheets, joining online meetings, applying to online services, storing digital documents, and using internal messaging software.
When thinking about digital skills, many employers tend to focus on advanced or “hard” digital skills, such as web development, data analysis, SEO and social media marketing.
While these skills are incredibly valuable if you’re running a business that’s focused on digital services, all businesses can reap the benefits of basic digital skills training, along with digital upskilling for more advanced tasks.
Why invest in digital training?
The first reason why comes down to a lack of skilled workforce. According to a 2023 Amazon survey, 72% of UK businesses have a vacancy for workers with digital skills, but only 11% of workers possess advanced digital skills.
Basic digital literacy can streamline your business processes and improve productivity, as knowing how to confidently use word processing, digital software and analytics software can help speed up the more repetitive and time-consuming tasks you face on a day-to-day basis.
Basic digital skills can also improve your teamwork and communication within your team, especially in an era where remote or flexible working has become more popular.
Even something as simple as knowing how to share your screen during a meeting or using cloud-based applications can make a huge difference to the quality of your communication!
Advanced digital skills such as social media management, graphic design and web development have become essential skills for marketing any service or business, as they allow you to communicate your offer to an increasingly online public.
This means that having digitally trained employees will give you a competitive advantage, even if you currently don’t have digital-based roles.
Kickstart your growth with digital apprenticeships
Investing in your employees’ digital skills is beneficial no matter the industry you work in.
If you’re looking to future-proof your business, investing in a digital apprentice or upskilling your talent through a digital apprenticeship is the best way to get ahead of the curve and bridge the digital gap.