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Digital skills gap threatens UK economy

19/11/2015 by Stuart Wilson


The UK is suffering from a digital skills gap, which could end up costing the economy £500 million in the next two years if it fails to be addressed, according to the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA).

Some 95% of the 117 companies questioned in BIMA's research reported that their growth was being held back by a shortage of available talent in the recruitment market.

In fact, 75% of firms said that finding the right people is the biggest challenge facing their business, which could have knock-on effects for the British economy, says Bridget Beale, BIMA's managing director.

"The UK has established itself at the forefront of digital transformation and innovation, yet we could see a huge missed opportunity to build on this unless we see more digitally skilled people entering the industry," he said.

Roles most difficult to fill are those where candidates require coding skills (73%); analytical skills (37%); sales skills (31%) and visual arts skills (31%).

BIMA executives believes that new initiatives, such as the "digital GCSE" - encompassing coding and other skills, to be introduced to the national curriculum - are the solution to the skills shortage.

Natalie Gross, a BIMA executive committee member and head of digital agency Amaze, said: "We think that while there's lots of good initiatives, it's not getting through quick enough and we need to do something to penetrate the whole of the education system in the UK."

Acting as something of a trail for the suggested digital GCSE initiative, BIMA created Digital Day, which saw digital industry professionals head into schools to give students an insight into life in the digital sector and advice on the jobs that exist within the digital economy.


Digital, economy

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