Workers need and want the training, but companies aren't providing it.
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and with so many employees working remotely, it's no surprise that the demand for digital skills has accelerated. However, organizations have yet to take appropriate actions to address the training shortfall, according to Building Skills for the Changing Workforce, a digital skills study from Amazon Web Services and AlphaBeta that surveyed more than 12,000 workers and more the 3,700 employers from 12 countries.
Nearly 90 percent of employers believe that the pace of digital adoption has sped up, and a similar amount agree that there's greater demand for digitally skilled workers and technology roles. They anticipate in 2025 that the top five digital skills will be the ability to use cloud-based tools, knowledge of cybersecurity tools, technical support skills, digital marketing, and being able to manage the transition from on-site facilities to the cloud.
Employees likewise believe they need to meet new job demands with fresh skills. Almost 90 percent say they've become more aware of the importance of having digital skills, and 85 percent say the pandemic has made them realize they need more digital skills to do their jobs well.
Both employers and workers see benefits to digital skills training, with more than 80 percent of employers noting that digital skills training has improved employee retention and has been important to help slow the Great Resignation trend. Employees say such training can lead them to be more efficient in their roles, have higher personal satisfaction at work, and improve their employability.
However, companies and workers acknowledge that digital skills training greatly lags. Nearly all surveyed employers see a need to train staff on digital skills, yet only 30 percent have taken actions to implement a digital skills training plan. Just two-thirds of employees say they receive some type of digital skills training each year. The majority of employers and workers cite awareness of training opportunities and time as barriers to training.
The study calls on employers, workers, and governments to work together to solve the global training shortfall by committing to greater investments, knocking down barriers to training access, and targeting opportunities for underrepresented groups.