Just over half of managers in the UK are struggling to find talent with the appropriate technology skills, according to research from Udacity and Ipsos.
The training provider found that 51% of managers in the UK have complained of a lack of tech skills, and 51% have had to hire people who don’t have the skills they need for certain roles.
The resulting lack of appropriate skills is delaying digital transformation, with 48% saying projects have been put on hold because of skills gaps.
Gabe Dalporto, CEO of Udacity, said: “The talent shortage has reached a crisis pitch. If companies do not invest in talent transformation, they are destined to fail. The lack of job-ready digital talent has become an existential threat to businesses around the world.”
There is currently a tech skills gap in the UK, leaving companies complaining of a limited pool of skilled workers to hire from.
Meanwhile, many young people believe it is too late for them to consider a career in technology because of a lack of training, while others leave tech roles because of a lack of inclusion in the workplace.
As well as a lack of tech skills, 48% of managers said they are struggling to fill tech-based roles within their company, and some have even complained of losing their staff to more techy firms.
Some managers said they have had to let employees go because they lacked the skills the organisation needed, while others are relying on outsourcing because of a lack of internal skills.
With more than half of managers in the UK saying they are facing competition from other firms when it comes to retaining employees, much of the UK’s talent have said the opportunity to develop skills in-house would make them happier at work and more likely to stay.
Read more about digital skills
There has recently been a focus on adopting a lifelong learning approach to closing the digital skills gap – ensuring ongoing digital skills development both to close the skills gap and maintain a level of technical knowledge in line with constant digital innovation and adoption.
According to Udacity’s research, there is an agreement by managers globally that developing the skillsets of existing employees is important, but although 61% of managers in the UK said this was a focus in their company, the UK lags behind other nations, such as France, Germany and the US.
A large number of employees are keen to work on their technology skills in order to progress within their organisation – and more than half said their employer should be offering to foot the bill for this skills training.
Different age groups in the UK have slightly different ideas about skills development, with the 30-to-49 age group more likely to say the onus is on the employer to invest in their careers by offering skills training, than other age groups.
But there is a disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to the training currently on offer, with 80% of firms believing their learning and development programmes are yielding good results, despite only 39% of employees feeling the same.
“Employees and employers are in agreement that companies have a responsibility to invest in the future of their employees,” said Christopher Moessner, senior vice-president at Ipsos.
“This research executed by Ipsos is a wake-up call for enterprises to invest in talent transformation or risk falling behind. It’s a win-win for employees who desire the most in-demand tech roles and for employers who are not able to hire the right people to meet current and future demand.”