New FourthRev study finds more than half of UK companies concerned about missing key strategic deliverables due to digital skills shortage


LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE) – As the UK government looks to bounce back and look for ways to boost post-pandemic economic recovery, the message from business leaders is clear: more needs to be done to close the skills gap in the digital economy. Without the investment, the new study has found that four in five UK companies will need to look to recruiting from abroad over the next 12 months to acquire the digital skills they need, highlighting the unrealized potential. for job seekers in the UK.

Without access to the right quality and quantity of talent, more than half of companies said they fear missing key strategic deliverables (60%) over the next five years, as well as failing to deliver shareholder value (55%). The new study also found that four in five UK companies (81%) felt they would need to recruit talent from overseas in the next 12 months to meet key growth targets and that slightly more than the half (53%) would pay more chances to acquire the digital skills they need.

This latest search for Fourth Rev surveyed over 100 HR, Talent Acquisition, and Learning and Development (L&D) executives from a wide range of industries including finance, IT, manufacturing, media, consulting , government, utilities and retail.

Across these industries, 54% said they struggled to find good candidates for entry-level positions in the digital economy, while data analytics, cybersecurity and programming skills were the top skills identified as a priority over the next 12 months.

One of the main concerns of employers (88%) is the lack of confidence in the existing structures of the education sector to provide the graduates and the skills upgrading arrangements necessary to emerge from the pandemic and thrive in the world. ‘Digital Economy. With just 15% of organizations supporting digital skills boot camps as a way to bridge the gap and 22% believing that university alone would provide the right skills, 66% of talent leaders would prefer a hybrid solution. combining academic qualifications and a practical portfolio of work.

Commenting on research, founder of FourthRev Jack Hylands said: “COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of organizations in the UK, with many adopting new technologies to adapt and recover from the pandemic. This has made digital skills even more valued, but our employer survey shows that companies are simply not able to access the skills they need. While there are a number of causes involved here, research has highlighted a key factor being the lack of confidence that the education sector can support the development of applied digital skills and experiences. very impactful learning aligned with the future of work.

“What we need now is a hybrid solution that allows higher education (HE) and industry to join forces. Employers clearly value a combination of the two, therefore, by merging their unique strengths, there is significant potential to provide up-to-date and industry-relevant training for learners of all demographic groups, no matter if you are a undergraduate or currently in a digital non-role field seeking to improve their skills. As any way out of the current crisis depends on developing the digital capabilities of the workforce, rethinking the relationship between academia and industry must become a priority. ”

Simon Quinton, UKI Country Manager for the world’s leading analytics platform, Tableau, commented: “It’s no surprise to see analytics and data science at the top of the list of skills employers are looking for. over the next year. The ability to use data to have better business conversations has become a critical differentiator for most organizations. It’s great to work with a company like FourthRev to help learners develop the practical experience they need no matter where they are on their data skills journey. ”

To bring academia and industry closer together, FourthRev has partnered with several of the world’s largest tech companies, including AWS, GitHub, and Tableau, and top universities to co-design and deliver higher education courses offering a direct route to skills and employment in the digital economy. These courses increase learner choice and provide pathways to acquire sought-after skills and industry certificates, while allowing students to earn credits toward a degree.

FourthRev is also working with a range of major education partners, such as FutureLearn, to bring industry and higher education closer together, while its courses are currently available through 11 higher education providers. The start-up has a catalog of more than 60 courses, which it is expected to offer to more than 2,000 learners over the next 12 months.


Notes to Editors

This survey was conducted by Udder Group in March 2021. It collects responses from more than 100 heads of talent acquisition, recruiting, talent management, L&D and HR across a wide range of industries, including finance, IT, manufacturing, media, consulting, government, utilities. , retail. The sizes of companies studied are as follows: 15% out of 10,000, 62% between 1,000 and 10,000 and 25% below 1,000 employees.

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