As a partner to over 300 users of the Labour Insight real time skills data application, we are often asked about the growing demand digital skills, and the issues this causes employers. A recent survey, by the British Chamber of Commerce highlights the impact this is having on the economy.

With three in four UK businesses reporting a digital skills shortage among their employees – 84 per cent of firms agree that digital and IT skills are more important to their enterprise now than two years ago.

Across the UK, the study found over 50% of companies reporting a shortage in digital competencies, with 21 per cent stating the shortage was “significant” and 3 per cent saying it was “critical”.

The evidence is clear: better digital skills make firms more productive, and a lack of an appropriately digitally skilled workforce holds them back.  But how does this impact training providers and what insight can be gained to help address the problem?

Helping training providers meet the demand for digital skills

The challenge for educators is to provide learners access to programmes that exactly reflect the ever changing nature of UK employer IT / digital skills demand. Predict skills and teaching requirements that embrace a set of technologies and practices that change rapidly and incessantly.

We’ve seen a marked increase in use of Labour Insight within further and higher education settings to help face just this type of dilemma.  It’s a unique real time data application that put simply, allows users to see in great detail and as it happens, exactly what employers want and need. Available in the UK since 2012 it allows organisations access to over 45,000,000 online vacancy postings and drill down into over 70 categories per posting to reveal the very specific nature of employer and skills demand that as a local or national provider, they cater for.  Many of the colleges and universities that we work with are using this unique insight to shape their curriculum planning and improve student outcomes.

Author: Glyn Horsley, Labour Insight Account Manager

Read more about Labour Insight.