The Digital Skills for the UK Economy Report released by the government earlier this year examined the demand and supply of digital skills in the UK. It found that there is a shortage in suitable digital skills for digital jobs persists in the UK labour market and that this is a major risk to business growth and innovation. The findings showed that ’there is a need for action to be taken to re-skill the workforce continuously to ensure that new market segments that require digital skills can be exploited.’
The results from the report paint a grim picture for the current skill shortage but a hopeful one for those wanting to become qualified. There is a huge demand for qualified candidates in the IT industry and certification offers a bridge for the gap in digital skills. We’ve summarised three of the key take-away points from the report and looked at how LPI certification can help the conclusions.
Digital skills shortages are hindering our technological achievements.
As the digital industry continues to struggle with skill shortages, the UK faces a huge hindrance to its possibilities for technological achievements. Companies working in areas such as advanced manufacturing and 3D printing believe their productivity is being reduced, and the retail sector believes that digital skill shortages in their employees are hindering a transition into e-commerce.
Companies are now in a position where they need to ensure that their task force have the digital skills necessary to be able to handle technological advances. This is why many employers have opted to become an LPI Approved Training Partner. This enables them to offer internal training and certification and community out-reach programs to complement their recruitment process.
New graduates are not filling the skills gap.
Although a recent OFCOM report says that young adults are offering a valuable skills pool, it is being argued about whether this aligns with employers requirements. The proportion of new graduates being employed into the IT and telecoms sector is on the decline, from 32% in 2001 to 18% in 2011. Compared to the proportion of those aged 40+, increasing from 32% to 47% in the same period, it indicates that digital skills are being acquired through working rather than education. This is causing concern that without a change in IT course content and focus, new graduates are unlikely to address the skills shortages.
The demand for digital skills is likely to increase in the future meaning that the demand for fresh graduates who are qualified for the IT and telecoms sector is also likely to rise. Our partnerships with academic establishments across the UK mean that schools, colleges or universities have elected to offer LPI Certifications to enrolled students. By embedding the learning objectives of the Certification into the curriculum, the learning obtains both an academic qualification and an industry recognised certification.
Digital skills can benefit older candidates too, if not more so.
We are facing a time where job security is not guaranteed and even our older workforce can’t rely on their employment. Participants in the Digital Skills Report were asked “When recruiting, which skills, in your view are the most commonly lacking in candidates?” In their responses, when considering technology, computing and digital skills, approximately 5% believed that candidates under 24 were lacking these skills while over 40% believed that candidates aged over 50 were missing these crucial job skills. Most stakeholders felt that the older people need to become used to the digital world and learn how to adapt to technology.
There is no age limit on gaining an IT qualification. Older candidates are able to greatly increase their job prospects by ensuring that their digital skill qualifications are up to date. Not only will they benefit from extra training and an introduction to digital skills they may have previously been unaware of, they will also have the certification to prove that they are capable and reliable for the job.