New research shows that there were more than two million UK job vacancies in the sector last year, while at the same time more than 12 million workers lacked essential digital skills.
The government argues that it is working closely with industry on developing digital skills training – through boot camps, apprenticeships, and the like – but critics warn that it is not doing enough, and while apprenticeships are seen as critical in bridging the skills gap, nearly half of all apprentices dropped out last year.
While efforts are being made to encourage students towards core Stem subjects the skills gap continues to widen. This is frustrating as tech salaries are nearly 80% higher, on average, than salaries for non-tech jobs in the UK and big tech companies are providing people with digital skills qualifications – but it’s simply not enough.
As digitalisation across the economy accelerates so shortages among software developers, data scientists, data analysts, enterprise architects and programme and project managers are likely to increase, and yet millions of workers still lack even basic digital skills.
Governments of all ‘colours’ have failed miserably to address this problem and if they continue to fall short what chance will the UK have of raising productivity and closing the growing gap with our main competitors?