Confronting the digital skills gap will see increased employability rates and staff retainment, from Generation Baby Boomer to Generation Alpha

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Adrian Grove, Business Development Director of Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider, Qube Learning, firmly believes that addressing the digital skills gap in many workforces will see an increase in Employers hiring people with the desired skills and upskilling current staff to advance with the business, not to leave or be replaced.

‘A staggering 52% of the nation’s workforce do not have essential digital skills for work’, as stated by the Secretary of State for Education, earlier this year, in the DfE white paper report on ‘Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth’. This is a jaw-dropping statistic, which has encouraged the government to form a strategy that will aid lifetime learning, with digital skills playing a major part. With supply and demand for technical proficiency in the economy being unfavourable, it is evident that basic digital knowledge is absent on a national level. More and more businesses require digital capabilities to keep their engines running, but there are not enough individuals with those aids to encourage a solid financial economic growth.

So, what can be done to help digitalism from a starter platform, for those looking to ‘keep up’ with the fast-paced technology wave? If Employers are keen to train or retrain staff, it is important that they look at their internal training plans and what they can do to see productivity positively impacted, ensuring workers reap the benefits, not only in a professional sphere, but personal, too. With Generation Alpha born into a digitalised culture being at an advantage, industries should pay special attention to those that are Generation Z and below, especially the Baby Boomers. Working with many highly competent Apprentices who are in the 40 and above demographic, they are faced with struggles when it comes to simple technology, such as Google Search or email. This is when the reality of remote working is very daunting for large audiences.

Technology is changing the way we work, and this is more evident than ever as we look at some of the effects of Covid-19: chefs are hosting live cooking sessions, teachers have conducted lessons via video conferencing, and we are maintaining relationships over Zoom or Facetime, and these are only a handful of examples that require some form of basic digital knowledge. As individuals, we are also accountable for taking steps towards expanding our familiarity with the digital world and for some, they will not meet the Essential Digital Skills standards, such as creating, editing and communicating online. Additionally, the pandemic will have been the first time they will have realised how unacquainted they are with the fundamentals. Reassuringly, Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQs) are now available, and are automatically funded for adults who don’t have the basic digital skills that are typically required for life and work. The EDSQs say that 11.3 million people (21%) lack the full basic digital skills, highlighting the need for imminent education in this area, while offering a real insight into what the future will encompass.

It is not just Employers, the public and the government who need to alter their outlook on digital learning, we as a Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider have had to efficiently modify how we work with Employers and Students. Advancements of our own eLearning platform, Qube Vision, enable Students to continue learning, and regular contact has resulted in positive outcomes, increased job performance, staff retainment and wellbeing for our Apprentices. Also, if Employers can offer a business model that looks up to date and effective, this is an appealing prospect for potential staff. Now is the time for Employers to seize the moment and ensure they are committed to the digital journey that their business, staff and even themselves, will need to undertake.

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider that works with hundreds of Employers across the country to deliver a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring, through Qube Vision and eLearning, either as a Student or an Employer, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.

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