The nature of the UK's digital skills gap

04 October 2022 • 2 min read

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How the digital skills gap is affecting the UK's people and economy


The UK's digital skills gap has been a hot topic over the last decade, but as businesses and individuals struggle in today's economic climate, discussion alone is no longer enough. AND Digital is on a mission to close the world's digital skills gap, so we've been thoroughly investigating the nature of the gap: defining it, quantifying it, and finding out how it's hindering the country's people and growth.


Extensive national research


Over the last four months, we’ve conducted extensive research to better understand the nature and scale of the gap:

  • surveying 5,000 knowledge workers 
  • analysing job vacancy data from over 80,000 sources across the UK
  • polling 750 hiring managers 
  • surveying 400 senior digital decision makers. 


The results have been quite startling. Over 61% of UK business growth depends on digital outcomes, but most (81%) of managing directors admit that a lack of digital skills is having a negative impact on their organisation already. Based on AND Digital’s estimations, this equates to £50bn per year of growth that is at risk across the UK economy. Between now and 2026 that adds up to approximately £240bn of UK growth at risk.*


The research reveals that UK knowledge workers are not being equipped with the digital skills they need, with many feeling that they don’t actually have the digital skills to do their job.


An understanding gap


We've also found that there is still no shared understanding of what skills are relevant and important for a digital future. Many still associate digital skills with fixing IT problems or using an app. The reality is; aside from basic tech skills or even more advanced tech skills, there are human behaviour skills that are crucial to driving growth. These skills, like teamwork, inspiring others and problem solving are grossly overlooked. 


Until we have a shared understanding of the most important digital skills needed for growth, UK businesses will struggle to equip their people with the right digital skills and achieve their desired goals.


Our mission


We're now embarking on a mission: to get relevant people involved in discussing and defining the digital skillset we need for growth. Together we can make a difference.

Head to our content hub to download and share our insight, and join the conversation on social at #DigitalSkillsDebate.


Want to learn more?

Explore the research



* Based on ONS estimations of £2trillion GDP at 2% growth rate by 2026. 61% of this growth depends on digital outcomes, of which digital skills are needed to deliver. 


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