- Almost 60% of workers in financial institutions believe they’ve been overlooked for promotions due to inadequate digital skills.
- Majority of the younger workforce (ages 18-24) feel particularly neglected, asserting that the high costs of reskilling programs hinder their progress.
- 84% of employees think outsourcing digital training could offer a cost-effective solution for organizations to bridge the skills gap.
The Digital Skills Crisis: A Barrier to Climbing the Corporate Ladder
In a time where the digital economy is flourishing, the absence of critical digital skills among employees poses a striking conundrum. Recent research suggests that nearly 60% of workers within UK-based financial institutions feel that they’ve been passed over for promotions owing to their insufficient digital abilities. Surprisingly, this sentiment is even more pronounced among younger staff, with 70% of individuals aged 18 to 24 expressing similar concerns.
What Employers Think They’re Doing Vs. What They’re Actually Achieving
It’s not as if companies aren’t trying to bridge the gap. A whopping 91% of workers affirm that their organizations offer upskilling or reskilling opportunities. Yet, this raises the question: why do employees still feel underequipped? The answer could lie in the effectiveness of these training programs. A staggering 58% of workers believe that their companies don’t allocate adequate time for effective staff training. Time, as they say, is money, but it appears that not enough of it is being spent on developing digital talent within organizations.
The Pricey Dilemma: Upskilling Costs are Skyrocketing
Money talks, especially when it comes to the costs associated with training programs. According to the data, 63% of employees believe that upskilling or reskilling programs are too expensive for their organizations to offer. This perception skyrockets to an alarming 94% among 18- to 24-year-olds. As a result, companies are inadvertently preventing a large pool of younger talent from climbing the corporate ladder.
The Outsourcing Solution: A Win-Win for Companies and Employees
To tackle the problem, many believe that the key lies in outsourcing. A notable 84% of surveyed employees argue that their companies would significantly benefit from outsourcing digital training initiatives. This approach, they say, would provide a more cost-effective means of enhancing employee skill sets while keeping overheads low.
Resistance to Change: Why New Technology Scares Employees
Another facet of this skills crisis is the hesitancy among employees to adopt new technology. Three-quarters of surveyed workers admit that staff members are resistant to embracing technological advancements. For younger employees, 86% share the sentiment that this resistance stems from a lack of understanding or digital proficiency. As technology continues to advance at a breakneck pace, employees who do not adapt are finding themselves increasingly marginalized.
Expert Insights: Bridging the Gap Is Essential for Industry Growth
Sheila Flavell, a leading industry expert, states, “Tech skills have become essential across all industries, particularly in the financial services, given the increasing adoption in areas such as AI and analytics.” She underscores the urgency to bridge the widening digital skills gap. “Promoting measures such as access to digital skills training programs can empower staff development and give them the foundation to assume highly skilled roles in banking, FinTech, and financial services,” she added.
Conclusion: A Call to Action for Financial Institutions
As the digital landscape rapidly evolves, so does the demand for digitally savvy employees. Financial institutions must rise to the occasion by investing not just financially but also timewise in effective training programs. Outsourcing may be a viable option, as the majority of employees suggest, but whatever the strategy, action needs to be taken sooner rather than later. Otherwise, companies risk not only missing out on critical talent but also on the increased productivity and innovation that come with a digitally skilled workforce.
The skills gap is not an issue that can be fixed overnight, but it’s high time that companies in the financial services sector make sustained progress in this area. After all, their future competitiveness, and indeed their survival, may very well depend on it.
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