Why private sector and public sector both have a duty to reduce the digital skills gap

David Rosewell
By , - Enabling DigitalEducation

The importance of digital services has never been more apparent. Whether it’s shopping online or collaborating with colleagues across the globe, digital provides us with new opportunities. As such it is no surprise that more organisations are embracing it than ever before.

To explore this in more detail, Fujitsu launched a report into the UK’s digital landscape to see just how well organisations are delivering on digital. The research revealed that more than a fifth of UK consumers will now always opt for a digital-first approach when offered.

And nearly two thirds (63%) state they are comfortable with the digital services offered to them by organisations overall.

But Fujitsu’s research also revealed that digital confidence has diminished for some people, with 47% admitting that they felt that the UK is moving too quickly towards becoming a digital nation.

As we continue to move into an increasingly digital age, it is clear that the importance of having digital skills has never been greater.

According to new research from Go ON UK, however, many still do not have basic digital skills required. 12m adults in the UK are unable to complete five basic online tasks – a worrying thought. Both private and public sector organisations have a huge role to play to help improve this.

It’s time for more, better, digital training

To help address the skills gap, it is the responsibility of organisations to get involved and help people of all ages get enthused about digital.

Opportunities such as apprenticeships, training courses and workshops can encourage people of different ages and backgrounds – as well existing employees – to use these skills and as the workplace becomes ever more digital. Barclays Digital Eagles and The Tinder Foundation are excellent examples of this.

It is no longer about providing people with the technology, but instead teaching them how to use it.  Educational institutions across the spectrum – from primary schools to universities and adult learning centres – need to ensure that the UK and Ireland is, and remains, a global digital powerhouse.

According to The Tinder Foundation, training the public on digital skills could contribute more than £14bn to the UK economy over the next year. Because of this, we need to invest at the very beginning of the digital journey to help develop the right skills to support the future digital economy.

Business and education must work together

As the digital landscape continues to develop, there are now more ways than ever before to interactively engage with businesses. But due to the growing digital skills gap, there are still many consumers who are disregarded because they don’t know how to communicate with these organisations.

As such, it is up to businesses to promote digital inclusion and look at education to help people get to grips with technology. This will only become more important as digital continues to impact our daily lives.

David Rosewell

David Rosewell

Head of Strategy, Fujitsu Digital at Fujitsu
David Rosewell

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