- The latest Digital Disruption Index by Deloitte, which surveyed 158 executives in the U.K., revealed an increase in the perception that students who leave school or graduate have the right digital skills and experience to join the workforce. The report highlighted an 18% agreement among survey respondents, up from 12% only six months ago.
- Also on the rise is the perception by leaders that existing employees have the digital talent to execute their company's digital strategy. The survey's numbers showed 25% of leaders have this confidence, up from 16% in the spring of last year.
- A majority of respondents, 75%, said they believe AI, robotics and IoT are making fundamental changes within their organization. They suggested more will need to be done to keep up with the adoption of new and upcoming technologies in the workplace.
The digital skills gap may be shrinking as leaders see more technology-apt workers entering the workforce, but businesses — L&D departments in particular — still have work to do. For workers who aren't getting the training they want and need from their employers, many are taking learning into their own hands. The risk, then, is that employees will leave once they've boosted their skill sets. It's important for employers to encourage their workers to take ownership of their professional growth and become lifelong learners.
In addition to hard skills, many employers have bemoaned a lack of soft skills, including job readiness, in workers. Some believe communication, leadership and other soft skills may be the hardest to hire for. In response, courses and even entire colleges are forming to help job seekers and adult learners improve their soft skills. Efforts are even being made at the high school level to train students in preparation for their entrance into the workforce. Emotional intelligence (EI) may be another soft skill that will help employers close the skills gap. Some even suggest that EI is not inherent and can be learned.