Almost 70% of UK workers in tech roles are interested in digital skills training, according to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Research from the cloud services provider, in partnership with Gallup, found that 67% of digital workers want to acquire more digital skills, but 93% of those who expressed interest in training claimed that there are obstacles in the way of acquiring new skills.
Half of those wanting to expand their digital skills said they lacked the time needed to invest in new digital skills, 34% said they didn’t have the money, and 32% weren’t sure what skills they needed. to advance their careers.
Of those interested in acquiring more digital skills, 56% say their current skills are self-taught.
“This study shows that the UK can see a significant improvement in the economy by improving the digital skills of its workforce,” said Chris Hayman, director of the UK public sector at AWS.
“The study also shows a clear desire among UK employees to improve their career prospects and potential earnings. UK businesses, and the government, need to focus on creating training and resources available to ensure the UK continues to be a leader in digital technology to realize the many benefits it provides,” added Hayman.
Not only do many people lack the basic digital skills needed for the workplace, but many more lack the basic digital skills to navigate increasingly digital everyday life, unable to afford on bills or shop online.
Chris Hayman, AWS
When it comes to those with digital skills, in many cases employers are still looking for candidates without the technical knowledge required for specific jobs, leaving them fishing for the same small pool of candidates like other companies.
Employers are still struggling to hire people with the skills they need, according to AWS, with 72% of companies looking for people with digital skills, but only 11% of the workforce in the UK with an advanced level of digital skills, including cloud and software. development.
Of the 68% of businesses struggling to find digital workers, 45% said it was due to a lack of skilled talent in the job market.
If more people had these digital skills, the UK’s GDP could increase by £67.8bn a year as the workforce became better and more productive, AWS claims.
On average, roles that require applicants with 10 or more digital skills pay 48% more than jobs that don’t require digital skills.
UK workers with cloud and software development skills earn around 30%, or an average of £11,568 per year, more than those without digital skills.
AWS also found that those with higher levels of digital skills claimed to enjoy their jobs more than those with basic or intermediate levels of digital knowledge. Almost 60% of people with advanced digital skills say they are very satisfied with their work, compared to only 43% of those with basic or intermediate-level skills. AWS suggests this is because they are better paid, more efficient and feel they are more likely to advance in their careers.
When it comes to people with digital or more advanced technical skills, 44% say their skills make them more efficient at their jobs, half believe they are more likely to get a promotion and 42% were given a salary increase.
Almost all of the 33% of people who participated in some form of digital skills training in the past year cited at least one career benefit that came from it.
There will be a need for a variety of digital skills in the near future, says AWS. When employers were asked about 10 emerging technologies – including 5G, cryptocurrency, machine learning and artificial intelligence, robotics, edge computing, quantum computing, augmented and virtual reality, digital twins, and the metaverse – 53% of business managers say at least one emerging technology is likely to be part of their business going forward, with 7% saying all 10 topics will be part of business in the future future
But research has found that emerging technologies are not fully understood by employees, with almost a quarter of people with at least basic digital skills saying they don’t have them at all hear about these technologies.
AWS has several programs aimed at giving people technical skills in the cloud, including AWS Educate, AWS Academy and AWS re/Start programs, where it hopes to retrain 29 million people in 2025.