A digital skills shortage is preventing employers from filling vacancies, new research warns.

The UK Consumer Digital Index, from Lloyds Bank, has been examined by Reboot Online Digital Marketing Company, which discovered that while more than half of the UK uses the internet in their roles, 53 percent of employees do not have the essential digital skills needed for work.

According to the report, since last year 1.8 million more people have the highest digital capability. However 37 percent of the UK are still at risk of being left behind as we continue to advance technologically.

Revealing the most significant digital skills gaps within the workplace, the report highlights h0w 38 percent cannot ‘use the internet to find information that helps solve problems’; 40 percent cannot ‘recognise and avoid suspicious links and pop-ups’; and 44 percent cannot ‘set privacy settings on work-related social media and other accounts.

Martin Calvert, a Director at digital marketing agency Blueclaw, spoke with Reboot and suggests that the digital skills gap is visible in different ways across different generations:

“We work in a very technical industry, with a lot of specialist software and tools so we don’t expect new team members to know everything,” he said.

“Even so, when bringing early-career employees on board, there can be some surprising gaps. At the other end of the age spectrum, we’ve worked with some phenomenally experienced professionals but sometimes they need support to be pointed towards the best tools and technology available in 2019 – even if they’re extremely savvy and capable when using more ‘industry standard’ technologies that have been established for years. 

“We always need to be looking for new ways to get better at what we do, so regardless of where the team member is in their career, it’s vital that we’re open and honest about how we can help them to work more effectively with the right technology. In that sense the most important digital skills is more of a trait – openness to new ways of working, a willingness to learn, and a willingness to teach us too.”

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