Half of UK employees lack basic digital skills

frustrated

Around 17.1 million people in the UK lack the essential digital skills (EDS) necessary for work, according to a new study.

The report from FutureDotNow, a coalition of leading organisations focused on accelerating the UK's workplace digital skills, finds only only 23 percent of employees report having any digital skills training from employers.

It highlights the commercial risks presented by this 'hidden middle', including negative impacts on business productivity and financial performance by slowing the adoption of digital processes, holding back businesses and reducing the UK's global competitiveness.

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Liz Williams, chief executive of FutureDotNow, says, "FutureDotNow's report reveals a hidden middle between digital exclusion and advanced digital skills which needs addressing urgently: there's a significant part of our workforce without the essential digital skills required for the new global digital world we're competing in. Great businesses are underpowered like smartphones with a flat battery because their workforces lack these essential digital skills."

Too many businesses assume their employees have the EDS for work because they can, for example, use smartphones. However the need to equip the whole workforce with the basic workplace digital skills, such as avoiding social-media disasters, basic password practice, using cloud storage, analyzing data, synchronizing information across multiple devices and keeping viruses out of systems by identifying suspicious emails is not being addressed by most UK organizations.

In response FutureDotNow is launching a Playbook, to help businesses to rapidly move forward in identifying the EDS they are lacking and upskilling their people. The Playbook is free to FutureDotNow members and combines experience, techniques and tips from coalition members who have recognised that they must address the hidden middle.

The full report is available from the FutureDotNow site.

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