The UK’s skills shortage has been well documented in recent years and if the latest predictions are anything to go by, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Individuals and businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on technology and the Internet which means that naturally, the demand for professionals who can deliver these services is on the rise. So much so that The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) ‘Delivering Skills for the New Economy’ report says that it expects 95% of UK businesses to see demand for digital skills grow in the next few years.

The problem is, with the skills gap the country’s facing, organisations simply cannot find the right employees to fill these roles. The (CBI) has in fact found that 67% of UK firms currently have unfilled digital vacancies.

While most firms are taking action to address this shortage, they are also focusing on the same pool of digital talent. As a result, only 31% of the business community believe they will be able to secure these skills in the next three to five years.

Among smaller businesses, 69% say their digital skills needs are likely to peak over the next year or two. Sadly, these are the businesses which are likely to bit hit the hardest because they don’t have the time, resources or budget to compete with larger, well-known brands.

It’s not just the digital industry being affected however, the shortage of talent is a crisis affecting all sectors. A separate report commissioned by The Open University found that a staggering 91% of UK businesses struggled to find workers with the right skills last year.

Worryingly, 61% of senior business leaders also said the problem has got worse over the last 12 months and it’s coming at a serious cost. The recruitment process is taking longer for many which means that 64% of companies are spending more on recruitment, with costs increasing by an eye-watering 49%.


What’s being done about the digital skills shortage?

The CBI has said that the Government should set a target for the entire UK workforce to have basic digital skills by 2025. It also recommended that businesses should better understand their digital skills needs, and that those skills should be at the heart of a national re-training scheme.

Speaking about what the future holds for businesses, Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the CBI commented:

“Digital skills are absolutely fundamental to getting people ready for the future of work and helping companies make the most of the opportunities technology brings. It’s essential we tackle the UK’s digital skills crunch now to remain internationally competitive, and promote the UK as the number one place for businesses to invest.”

If other aspects of running your business (such as recruitment), are taking up precious time, why not outsource your accountancy needs to PKB? We’ve helped plenty of businesses get back on their feet over the years from start-ups and sole traders to limited companies. If you have any digital-related questions, you can also get in touch with our marketing and communications manager, Rebecca Austin.

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