Digital skills boost can help the UK be a world leader again

The UK could become a leader in technology, business and innovation, if it were to better equip its workforce with digital skills. 

This is the conclusion of a new CBI and Microsoft report, which also argues that a greater focus on digital skills could yield improvements where employee wellbeing is concerned.

At the moment, the situation is looking quite grim. Brexit is on the horizon, bringing with it many unknowns, and the Covid-19 pandemic is still in full flow.

In order to tackle these pressing challenges, businesses have turned towards digital technologies – and the results are promising. Video conferencing solutions (91 percent), as well as cloud computing tools (79 percent) designed to improve agility and productivity, were cited as the most common technologies applied since Covid-19 kicked off.

But the real problem is extracting valuable data from these new solutions, with more than half (56 percent) of respondents claiming they lack the necessary skills. A third also said they are unable to use data to achieve critical goals.

At the same time, firms have managed to extract valuable data regarding their employees, which helped them improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

“Businesses of all sizes have been innovating at lightning pace supported by the adoption of technology – from the cutting-edge right down to the basics. Even in times of disruption, companies can invest in technology for the health of their operations as well as the welfare of their employees,” said Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director.

“Now more than ever these two factors are inexorably linked. Finding a balance, that encourages employees to develop their skills, helps them maintain good mental health and ultimately drive-up business performance holds the key to building back better.”

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