A study by Ecorys UK which examines the demand and supply of digital skills in the UK has been published by the Department for Business Innovation &Skills and the Department for Culture Media & Sport.
The Digital Skills for the UK Economy study examined the demand and supply of digital skills in the UK. It reviewed the risks for the UK if the digital skills needs of the population and businesses are not addressed. The report, which was based on an extensive literature review and stakeholder consultations, concludes that:
- Digital skills offer growth opportunities for the UK economy, but opportunities are often constrained by a lack of relevant digital skills within the labour force.
- Significant value can be added to the UK economy and society through better investment in digital skills. This not only relates to job creation but also firm productivity and scaling-up markets for businesses, including SMEs.
- The contribution of digital skills to the performance of the UK economy is substantial. The ‘tech sector’ alone represents 6% of the UK economy with an estimated GVA per person in the region of £91,800, well above the UK average. Given the large number of opportunities that are likely to be available, strong investment in digital skills is likely bring about a very good return on investment to the UK economy.
- The shortage in digital skills in the UK represents a key bottleneck for industry and is linked to one in five of all vacancies. In 2015, 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs reported tech skills gaps. This suggests a clear mismatch in the types of skill offered by the labour market and those demanded, which is likely to hold back the growth of tech and non-tech companies alike.
- There is an increasing range of activities and occupations where digital skills are needed, but supply is not adequate.
The study’s recommendations focused on the role of central government in providing policy direction, national focus and leadership. It also looked at the critical roles of employers, the education sector and local government and agencies in delivering solutions that address digital skills gaps and shortages in the UK.
To view the full report please click here.