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Britain’s digital crisis costing UK £63 billion, according to report

Britain is in the midst of a digital crisis that is estimated to be costing the UK economy £63 billion in lost income, according to a government report.

The report, which was presented in the House of Commons by the Science and Technology Committee, found that millions of people in the UK lack basic digital skills.

Demands

According to the report, 12.6 million adults in the UK do not have basic digital skills, whilst nearly 5.8 million have never used the internet.

Demand for digital skills is on the rise. Nearly 90 per cent of new jobs require workers with digital skills, and over 70 per cent of employers are unwilling to interview applicants that do not have basic computer skills.

The report found that the UK will need an additional 745,000 workers with digital skills. If this target is not met, then the jobs will be outsourced or given to workers outside of the UK.

There was also found to be a lack of digital skills education in schools across the UK, with 22 per cent of IT equipment being ineffective and just 35 per cent of computer science teachers having the relevant qualifications.

Action

The Science and Technology Committee has now called for action to be taken to tackle the problem.

“Although the UK leads Europe on tech, we need to take concerted action to avoid falling behind. We need to make sure tomorrow's workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need,” said Committee Chairwoman, Nicola Blackwood.

The committee provided several suggestions for tackling the problem, including making digital skills a core component of apprenticeships, offering digital career advice in universities and encouraging corporate training. 


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