Is there a way to better understand and bridge the digital skills gap? We need to first explore its depth and main drivers. In 2019, the European Union had an estimated digital skills gap of 1.8 million Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals. What is even more interesting to note, is that the digital skills mismatch accounts for almost 80% of that gap. While the EU undoubtedly needs more ICT professionals, it needs digital upskilling even more urgently.
Maybe you have already taken our Digital Skills Gap Quiz to find out your persona. Did you happen to be the Clumsy Creator like many others who find it challenging to master digital content creation? Digital skills are not a given and designing presentations, graphics, and simple videos may not come naturally to you, which is perfectly fine. You are probably curious and eager to learn to become better in this area but most likely, you’ve never had the chance to upskill at work.
From 2012 to 2020, only 21% of EU companies provided training to develop and upgrade the digital skills of their employees. Naturally, larger companies can dedicate more resources to training, while small and medium enterprises have less capacity to upskill their employees. Nevertheless, we all need to take actionable steps to upskill and transition from Clumsy to Expert Creators who are ready to face digital challenges.
While companies recognise the importance of digital skills and talent to remain competitive, almost a third of surveyed companies reported a lack of a clear talent strategy to complement their digital transformation. Indeed, leaders seem to favour investments in technological development compared to people and talent. Policymakers, the industry, educational systems, and civil society need to work together to make digital upskilling a top priority.
To avoid the rising skills mismatch phenomenon from worsening anymore, industry players must recognize the need to invest in future skills anticipation, as well as into training and retraining to thrive in the digital age. Young people deserve to benefit from stimulating training and upskilling initiatives that develop both their technical and non-technical skills, which are crucial to companies’ digital transformation.
As the Clumsy Creator, it’s vital to remember that content creation is scary only if you stay within your comfort zone. You should always look for ways to reskill, upskill, and learn how to do things for the first time. Step out of your comfort zone and take charge of your digital future. It is up to you to demand and seek ways to develop and sharpen your digital skills.
Digital tips from our European Digital Skills Community
“Keep yourself informed and never stop learning. This is especially true for digital technologies, which are moving faster than ever. So lots of opportunities will stem from these technologies and no other generation before has been able to access so easily the biggest source of knowledge ever created by mankind, which is the internet.” – Jules, 28 years old from France