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40% of organisations rely on younger employees for digital skills

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The average business only invests £109 per employee annually on digital skills training

Four in 10 (40%) employers rely on younger employees and graduates for digital skills rather than training mid-level employees, according to research from Barclays UK.

A third (34%) of UK employers admitted they find it difficult to digitally up-skill their workforce, with the average business only investing £109 per employee annually on digital skills training.

However, more than a quarter (27%) consider knowledge of data and device protection a priority skill when hiring, 20% look for the ability to use cloud-based tools and services for collaboration and storage, and 15% want coding skills.

Despite feeling concerned about their lack of digital skills, a significant proportion of employees are not taking steps to up-skill themselves, with almost half (47%) of all workers asked having never attempted to do this. Out of those that have, only 16% have done so in the past year.

Of those employees that have harnessed the opportunity to boost their digital skills, 63% in medium-sized businesses reported that it had a positive impact on their career progression, and 68% said it improved their ability to do their job.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said the country has reached a “tipping point” when it comes to digital skills. “The digital revolution is having a profound effect on our lives by dramatically changing the way we live, work and interact with one another,” he said. “Although in many ways this is empowering it can also be challenging, because it requires people and businesses to acquire, retain and consistently develop new skills and understanding to truly benefit.

“Together with government, businesses and society as a whole we need to raise our sights beyond basic inclusion and aim to create a Britain of true digital confidence at all levels of the workforce,” he added. “The UK must act now to ensure we are not left behind.”