The UK is now at the forefront of what some call a ‘fourth industrial revolution’, one which is grafting a digital nervous system onto existing business activity. Digital products and topics are rapidly increasing and evolving, yet there is virtually no professional development focused on these 21st century skills.

Organisations are using Dropbox and Box for file storage and sharing, social media to connect with customers, and Google Docs and Analytics to run their businesses. These tools serve essential functions but they can only improve productivity with the right training and digital skills necessary to take advantage.

New research shows that UK companies face serious consequences if they fail to tackle digital skills deficiencies within their workforce that are hampering productivity and increasing staff workloads. According to a study released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), three in four UK businesses have reported a digital skills shortage among their employees, despite 84% of firms admitting that digital and IT skills are more important to their enterprise now than two years ago.

Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC said:

“The evidence is clear: better digital skills make firms more productive, and a lack of digital skills holds them back… businesses themselves need to do a lot more to tackle the digital skills shortages they face, and their leaders need to be alive to the fact that a failure to tackle this issue will have an impact on their bottom line. Too many firms are stuck in an unproductive cycle, where the failure to take action has serious consequences.”