Finding digital talent in the UK a ‘significant challenge’

training class

The boss of an independent technology services provider says it has become somewhat difficult to find people with the necessary skills for work in some segments of the tech sector.

David Rai, CEO of Sparta Global, says: “Digital skills are essential for gaining access to a wide range of products and services, but sourcing digital talent in the UK is a significant challenge.”

He quotes statistics that would seem to strengthen his impression. “Up to 12.6 million of the UK’s adult population lack basic digital skills and an estimated 5.8 million people have never even used the internet,” says Rai.

“This digital skills gap is costing the UK economy an estimated £63 billion a year in lost additional GDP.”

Sparta engages in regular and ongoing research into various market segments.

According to its latest survey of leading technology professionals – representing the technology, finance, media, retail, public sector, charity and law industries – organisations are “continuing to suffer from skills gaps at all levels”.

The survey suggests that there are skill shortages at:

  • graduate level (38%);
  • mid-level (55%); and
  • management level (38).

In the lead up to Brexit, the issue is even more pressing, says Sparta.

British technology companies are worried it will cause a further shortage as many skilled technicians from outside of the UK return home, pushing up salaries in the sector and prompting companies to open offices elsewhere in the European Union.

To prevent the skills crisis from damaging the UK’s productivity and economic competitiveness, Rai says is important that the UK changes the way tech talent is cultivated.

Rai points to specialist training facilities run by the Sparta Global as examples of what can be done.

The Sparta academies are located in Richmond, Birmingham and Leeds. Rai says they bring improvements to the vocational training of software engineers, bridging the skills gap between education and the workplace for graduates.

“In just a few short months our boot camp-style training courses can teach students practical skills that may otherwise take years of university schooling,” says Rai.

“After building up the necessary skillset, our freshly-trained consultants are introduced to work with our client partners; helping them to further grow and learn in the workplace and find real solutions to real problems.

“Our Sparta training academies are a resource that is available now and will allow the UK to nurture the talent that is already available in the UK, making moves to bridge the digital skills gap before it is too late.”