Disconnected? Exploring the digital skills gap


Digital skills will have a crucial role to play in the UK’s economy beyond the pandemic, helping to drive growth, productivity and innovation across the rest of the economy whilst building on the UK’s status as a world-leader in digital tech.  

Our research looks at the future of digital skills, based on new large scale surveys of both employers and young people. 

The report finds that the vast majority of employers require workers to have basic digital skills, and that an increasing number of employers require more advance skills too. However, many employers are facing skills gaps which are holding back innovation, productivity and growth.  

Whilst young people seem to recognise just how crucial digital skills will be for them to succeed in the labour market, participation in digital skills training at school, in further education and in apprenticeships has declined. There are also stark gender inequalities when it comes to both ICT training and employment in the digital sector. 

Ahead of the launch a new UK digital strategy, we need to see a step change in ambition – from the government, from employers and from providers – in order to meet future digital skills need. Helping all young people to develop the digital skills they need will be crucial both for driving the UK economy and for ensuring that young people can thrive in the labour market of the future.