Only 38% of UK employers offer digital skills training

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Nearly a third (31%) of working-age adults in the UK lack even basic digital problem-solving skills

Only 38% of UK employers offer their workers digital skills training, according to a report from Barclays.

The research, titled From Inclusion to Empowerment: The Barclays Digital Development Index, found that Estonia and South Korea are joint leaders in ‘digital empowerment,’ defined as “the ability and desire to use one’s digital skills to work productively and creatively, and to have the opportunity to continually upgrade them to keep pace with changing technology.”

The UK came fourth in the ranking, following Sweden in third place. China and the USA tied for fifth place, and India, Germany, Brazil and South Africa made up the rest of the top 10.

Despite this, the UK ranked seventh out of 10 when it came to content-creation and coding skills. The report also found that nearly a third (31%) of working-age adults in the UK lack even basic digital problem-solving skills. This is below the average across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, which is 37%.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, organisations must keep pace with rapid change in the near future as a result of a growing use of technology. “Not even the industrial revolution was as transformative as the coming digital age,” he said. “We can already glimpse the extent of this change in the way we order a taxi, do our shopping or book a holiday – and this is only the beginning.

“The old ways of doing things will become obsolete, traditional skills are less relevant, and businesses grow or fail at speeds never previously thought possible.”

Vaswani added: “In this new world of disruptive innovation and digital advancement, it is those individuals, businesses and societies who have the greatest level of access, ability and understanding who will continue to prosper. Those which have the least will fall behind and find it progressively harder to catch up.”

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