Digital, data & technology skill shortage impacts 81% of organisations

As the UK government looks to rebound and seek out ways to drive the post-pandemic economic recovery, a new study has found that four in five UK organisations will struggle to acquire the digital skills they need to within the next 12 months.

The FourthRev  study highlighted the need for UK government departments and universities to work closer together to develop a new pipeline of talent for the digital economy. More than 100 HR, talent acquisition and Learning and Development (L&D) executives from across central and local government, the NHS and other sectors participated in the research.

Across these industries, 54% reported finding it difficult to source good candidates for entry-level digital economy roles, while data analytics, cybersecurity and programming skills were the top skills identified as a priority in the next year.

With only 15% of organisations backing digital skills boot camps as a way to close the gap and 22% feeling that university alone would provide the right skillsets, 66% of talent leaders would prefer a hybrid solution that combines academic qualifications as well as a practical work portfolio.

Commenting on the research, FourthRev founder Jack Hylands said, “COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of organisations in the UK, with many adopting new technologies to adapt to and bounce back from the pandemic. This has made digital skills even more highly valued, but our employer poll shows businesses simply aren’t able to access the skills they require.”

Commenting on the research findings, Simon Quinton, UKI Country Manager for the analytics company Tableau said: “It is not surprising to see data analysis and data science topping the list of skills that employers are seeking over the next year. The ability to use data to have better business conversations has become a mission critical differentiator for most organisations.”

To bring universities and industry closer together, FourthRev have formed partnerships with some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including AWS, GitHub and Tableau, and top universities to co-design and deliver HE courses that offer a direct pathway to qualifications and employment in the digital economy. 

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