Less than two per cent of businesses are fully confident that their employees are well placed to take advantage of the rising use of new technology, says new report by employers-members group: Apprenticeships are key to the digital skill shortage solution.
Seventy-eight per cent of businesses surveyed strongly believe that earn and learn training opportunities, including apprenticeship schemes, can help address future changes in the workplace, and are critical for UK businesses if they are to successfully compete in a global market. An ageing workforce, a continuing skills gap across sectors and the rising use of new technology such as Artificial Intelligence, are all challenges which businesses can positively tackle by providing employees with the right on-the-job training and relevant skills, according to The 5per cent Club.
The training and skills campaign group is an employer-member organisation which encourages employers to create as many earn and learn opportunities as possible, with over 340 members across sectors and sizes.In this survey, employer-members were asked for their opinion on a number of important challenges facing their sector and the role of earn and learn training:
All businesses surveyed agreed that on-the-job training programmes can help companies prepare for the future by providing relevant skills, with 78 per cent strongly agreeing; 91per cent argue that earn and learn training can significantly help to address the continuing skills gap crisis; 67per cent stated that earn and learn training, such as apprenticeships, is critical for upskilling an ageing workforce; 54per cent believe that earn and learn training can help businesses embed and embrace digitalisation and new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
Lady Cobham CBE, Director General, The 5per cent Club, comments
Over the next few years, businesses will face unprecedented change. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence, data insight and other technological advances will become the expected norm for businesses in order to thrive and as such, we need to prepare our workforces accordingly. At the same time, we will see a growing, ageing population, working for longer and requiring their skills to be updated more regularly, either in existing jobs or when developing their careers. Underpinning this, is the ongoing skills crisis across sectors.
Work-based training opportunities can provide a significant part of the solution, offering employers the chance to drive new skills and training in line with how their business model and order pipeline will look in the next five to ten years. Of course, it isn’t just about employers. Further Education providers also need to play their part by providing courses which are in line with the skills of the future. Through work-based training, we are not only preparing our employees of all ages for the jobs of the future, but also driving economic growth by ensuring our businesses are ready, agile and equipped with the right skills to operate efficiently and productively for the coming years.
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