Why digital skills are vital for your business

27 Sep 2019 Blog Learners

Technology has revolutionised the way we live and work, integrating into all aspects of our lives. Digital skills are now an essential requirement in almost every sector or industry, yet many employees lack basic digital literacy skills, and employers are struggling to recruit for vacancies requiring specific, higher-level digital skills.

With almost a quarter (23%) of adults lacking basic digital skills (Jisc 2018), there is a growing gap between the digital skills sought after by employers and the digital abilities of their workforce. And in an increasingly digital society, this gap is only going to widen: by 2040, 90% of jobs will require digital proficiency (Jisc 2018).

Read on to find out more about why your business should be embracing digital skills in the workplace in 2019 and what you can do to get your workforce up to speed.

Faster growth

Digital businesses have demonstrated faster growth, with one study estimating this to be more than twice that of non-digital businesses. Businesses who aren’t investing in digital skills risk being left behind unless they can take advantage of technology; could that be you?

New opportunities

New digital channels such as social media provide a huge opportunity for all businesses to reach their target audience and grow their business. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, 105 million registered users on Twitter and 75 million professionals on LinkedIn, social media is an exponentially key marketing tool. It is more important than ever that your business has the support of a skilled workforce to make the most of this opportunity to connect and build relationships with your customers. And if your target audience can’t find you online or on social media, they will find your competitor.

Increased productivity

New software and platforms introduced into the workplace come with the promise of helping people become more productive. But if your workforce doesn’t know how to utilise and harness these new technologies, you won’t reap the rewards they offer. Therefore, it is essential to equip your staff with digital skills to maximise productivity.

So how can better digital skills improve my business’ productivity? Communication is key to all businesses so, on a basic level, having staff who are able to efficiently communicate via email, social media, and instant messaging tools such as Slack, is key. With teams often spread out over different locations, digital collaboration tools such as video conferencing, project management tools and file sharing can prove invaluable alongside traditional collaboration skills. These examples might seem small scale, but inefficiencies like this add up, holding back your staff from doing their job, and ultimately costing you money.

What can you do?

It’s clear that more needs to be done to address the digital skills gap, particularly in smaller organisations who risk being left behind.

This is where we come in. Training and developing your staff with Apprenticeships give employers like you a golden opportunity to equip your workforce with skills tailored to your business needs.

ACT offer a range of fully-funded Apprenticeships to help your workforce to digitally develop. Our IT Users Apprenticeships focus on getting your staff up to speed and improving their productivity. With our Social Media for Business and Digital Marketing Apprenticeships you can help fill skills gaps and recruit talent into your business.

Meet We Build Bots

Cardiff based start-up We Build Bots are investing in their staff’s digital skills with Apprenticeships. Watch their story below:

So the question is, can you afford not to digitally upskill your workforce with Apprenticeships? Visit www.acttraining.org.uk/employers or email info@acttraining.org.uk to find out more.

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