Research released this week from Deloitte shows confidence among U.K. business leaders has improved over the past six months when it comes to hiring workers with the right set of digital skills. According to the report, 18 percent of business leaders believe that those exiting school or graduating have the right digital skills and experience, up from 12 percent six months earlier. And 25 percent of digital leaders in the U.K. believe their workforce has sufficient knowledge and expertise to execute on their digital strategies.
The research is based on responses from 158 digital leaders from Financial Times Stock Exchange listed companies, large private companies, and large U.K. public sector organizations with a combined market value of £1.38 trillion ($1.58 trillion).
However, despite business leaders seeing improvement in digital skill sets among new and current staff, they also believe more needs to be done to maintain pace with the acceleration of new technologies. Seventy-five percent of digital leaders in the U.K. say that artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things bring fundamental changes to their organizations.
Deloitte’s research also shows that digital leaders’ confidence in their own skills has improved.
According to the study, 60 percent of executives are confident in their own digital skills and ability to lead in the digital economy. That’s up from 45 percent six months ago. And it seems confidence gives rise to more learning as those who are confident in their skills take on responsibility to learn additional skills, including reading to brush up on skills and taking advantage of their organizations’ educational programs.
“While it’s promising to see improvements in leaders’ confidence in their workers’ digital abilities, there is a lot more that still needs to be done,” said Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, partner at Deloitte. “If left unaddressed, the skills gap could grow to a level that’s hard to fill. Failure to do more to educate both those in the workforce and those in the classroom will leave the UK trailing behind our global peers in the rapidly expanding digital economy.”