A shortage of job-ready digital talent is stalling innovation in the tech sector, according to a new study by online learning platform Udacity and market research company Ipsos.
The two organisations surveyed more than 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 staff across the UK, France, Germany and the US. No Irish organisations were involved. Participants were asked for their attitudes towards the ongoing digital talent gap.
The findings revealed that low retention rates, hiring difficulties and Covid-19 disruption have all contributed to the challenges faced by enterprises trying to fill jobs in tech. Just under half (44pc) of employers said that employee turnover was hindering their company’s ability to achieve goals.
More than half (59pc) of employers surveyed reported that not having enough skilled employees has had a major or moderate impact on their business. French and German employers were slightly more likely to say this than their US and UK counterparts.
Half of employers surveyed said that digital transformation initiatives were being held back due to a lack of employee adoption or engagement.
Among employers who offered learning and development programs, the majority (80pc) classified them as at least moderately successful. However, less than half (45pc) of employees with access to these learning and development programmes said they were completely or very satisfied. The disconnect between the answers offered by the two groups suggests employers need to work on upskilling workers within the company.
The survey showed that this issue will only become more pronounced over time. Younger employees expected their employers to invest in skills training. This was true for the majority of workers aged 18 to 49 in all countries, but especially pronounced in Germany, where 69pc of people aged 18 to 29 held these expectations.
Workers indicated that they understood the implications of their employer failing to provide adequate upskilling options for them. Most (62pc) agreed that their employers had the responsibility to pay for training initiatives.
“Employees and employers are in agreement that companies have a responsibility to invest in the future of their employees,” said Christopher Moessner, senior VP at Ipsos.
“The talent shortage has reached a crisis pitch,” warned Udacity CEO, Gabe Dalporto, “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.”
Moessner added that the research should serve as 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,” he added.
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