HR · 30 March 2016

How the workforce of tomorrow could solve the UK’s skills shortage

Teenagers
Almost one in five 13-17 year-olds are learning to code

Teenagers could provide the UK economy with vital technical skills when they reach working age – but small firms are struggling to train existing young workers.

 Almost one in five 13-17 year-olds are learning to code, and over 40 per cent are studying for a qualification in computer science, according to a new survey by Logicalis.

The study suggests that youngsters entering the UK workforce over the next decade will be more digitally literate than existing workers, as well as more cautious around information security. Teens are also aware of the value of data, with over 40 per cent willing to part with personal information for £15.

Logicalis marketing director Gerry Carrol said: “With numerous reports bemoaning the loss of jobs to increasingly computerised functions, this generation is busy developing the skills it needs for careers that don’t yet exist. The next decade will see an influx of employees whose capabilities will be light years ahead from our existing expectations of ‘ICT skills’.

“Able to create, build or knowledgeably commission the IT they want, today’s teenagers are a future workforce with the potential to enable and transform the UK’s digital economy.”

Yet another new survey carried out by manufacturers’ organisation EEF revealed that almost 75 per cent of UK manufacturers have struggled to recruit skilled workers in the last three years.

The report also suggested that small manufacturers are facing an uphill battle when it comes to recruiting apprentices – with the lack of training available to upskill young workers cited as the key problem by small business owners.

“Smaller businesses in particular do not have the bargaining power or economies of scale to demand the training provision they need from local providers,” the report’s authors explained.

“Located in an area where there are many smaller manufacturing businesses, it can often be difficult to persuade owners to actually take on apprentices,” added Denis Parsons, an HR manager at Centrax Turbine Components.

“While they certainly see the need to generate and grow a local pool of manufacturing talent, the logistics and complications in funding and supporting youngsters new to the workplace can be a daunting prospect.”

If you’re looking for ways to upskill your existing workers, don’t miss this guide.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.


 
TAGS:

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

Procurement