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The digital skill gap and what it means for recruitment

The digital skills gap is becoming a prominent issue in recruitment. The term refers to the lack of skills people have when it comes to ‘digital’ work, for example using technology like work-related software or hardware.

This ranges from basic online searching and emailing to specialised programming and development. A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport study showed that digital skills are required in at least 82% of online advertised openings across the UK. The demand for tech talent is clearly outpacing supply.

One way that strides are being made to close the gap is through workforce development programmes. By making the constant effort to train staff in digital skills, the gap can be closed over time. However, this is not without its difficulties, many businesses are held back by budgetary constraints, the time required to train and often the lack of suitable training equipment or technology. Regardless, you could argue that this is already too late, as the skill gap is only going to widen, so this may not be enough.

Another method to close the gap is to have a stronger digital skills’ focus at school. While IT is usually a mandatory subject throughout the country, computer science is not, and studies show that only 12% of all pupils at schools that offer Computer Science take the subject. The problem with Computer Science though, and likely a reason it is not a popular subject is that it’s a specialised skill as the subject focuses on coding and programming. Although coders and programmers are certainly in demand, the full suite of digital skills is needed. Also, something important to understand is that a barrier preventing many schools from offering Computer Science is the lack of skilled teachers. This in itself is caused by the digital skills gap, so it is currently stuck in a cycle. If you need help in your business or you recognise digital skill gaps in your recruitment, please contact us for a free phone consultation. One of our experienced HR Consultants will be happy to discuss this ,or any other HR related matter with you. Contact us on 01935 411191 or


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