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Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index reveals digital skills shortage in the south east of England

A report has shed worrying light on the lack of digital skills in the modern workplace.

According to the latest Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index, almost half (49%) of those living in the south east lacked the full essential digital skills set employers now demand.

It found some people in the region are unable to use digital skills in the workplace to problem solve, communicate or operate safely online when required while at work.

Almost half of those surveyed lack the required digital skills required by employers in the south east
Almost half of those surveyed lack the required digital skills required by employers in the south east

It once again sheds light on the need for essential training and education to ensure staff are equipped for the increasingly digital era.

This month the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) is launching its Local Digital Skills Partnership will bring together regional businesses, large employers, charities and public sector organisations to tackle the skills shortage.

Outside of the workplace one in six (17%) lack the full essential digital skills they need, meaning they struggle with tasks like changing settings on a device (12%), connecting to WIFI (11%) and updating passwords (11%). One in ten (11%) had little or no digital skills and classified themselves as ‘digitally disengaged’, a slightly smaller proportion than the UK average (12%).

With digital skills increasingly important, now is the time to boost training opportunities
With digital skills increasingly important, now is the time to boost training opportunities

The research found that one in four (26%) residents in the region lack confidence in their digital skills, compared to the UK average of 27%, and a further 6% of people in the region are completely offline – meaning they risk missing out on benefits like better work prospects, improved communication with friends and family and financial savings.

Of those not online, 57% say they find it too complicated to access the internet.

Tara Foley, Lloyds Banking Group’s ambassador for the south east, said: “While it’s encouraging to see most people in the region have a solid grasp of the essential skills for day to day online activities digital, it’s clear many are struggling to adopt the necessary digital skills for the workplace.

Lloyds Bank's Tara Foley (11704799)
Lloyds Bank's Tara Foley (11704799)

“It’s essential the private, public and charitable sectors come together with government to focus on how best to ensure the need for these vital skills is met. We’re working with Google to deliver digital skills training to small businesses and charities to equip people with the skills that will enable the region to prosper.”

Nationally, the study found that those workers with digital skills earn on average £12,500 more per year than those without.

Despite the lack of skills and increasing demand from employers, almost two thirds (63%) of workers have not received any digital skills training from their employer – including more than half (54%) of those in managerial roles and almost three quarters (71%) of manual workers.

Those working in manufacturing have the lowest level of digital skills (36%) compared to 80% in the finance, insurance and property sectors according to the report.

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