The UK is about to witness the fourth industrial revolution with the advancement of digital technology. Businesses are switching to modern tools and techniques to streamline the processes and achieve the maximum output.
However, it leads to a gap between the supply and demand of skilled employees with the right technical knowledge.
The business requires talent in its employee pool to grow in the competitive and technologically advanced environment. However, the education system cannot fulfil the requirement with the limited number of students in the demanding courses.
Therefore, we need collective efforts from the government, education institutions, industries and students to bridge the UK’s digital skills gap.
Financial Aspects of Learning New Technology
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A major concern for the students to learn a new technology is the finances. You cannot afford a new college graduate to spend more time mastering the skill because of the financial responsibility. Therefore, the government should provide funds for eligible students to at least manage their course fees for these technical skills.
Moreover, the students can try to support their finances with a part-time job or side hustle. If not, there is always an option to get funds from the lender. Courtesy of the technology, you can apply online for bad credit instalments loans in the UK to get instant funds.
How to Bridge the Digital Skill Gap
As mentioned above, we need collective efforts from the involved entities to bridge the digital skill gap. Even employers should invest their time to find creative solutions for the problem. In the meantime, we can use the following ways to increase the supply for our digital skills requirements –
Make Education Accessible
Students from different backgrounds do not have the same level of resources such as money, time, and technology. This makes the advanced training or studying reserve for the privileged classes even in the 21st century. We need to take some steps to make education accessible for everyone regardless of their professional and social background.
The employers should promote the skills over some certificate from fancy universities. It will help the students with financial restrictions to find great jobs in the industry after learning from some credible online courses. Moreover, the government should push the financial package to help the unemployed or lower-income section of the population.
Promote Technical Skills
Educational institutions are well aware of the demand for digital skills in the industry. Still, many of them are not working hard to promote technical degrees against the traditional courses. This is a major cause for the lack of interest or knowledge for technical skills such as data science and AI.
The colleges and universities should promote the courses while keeping the demand of professionals in the industry. They need to update the course structure and teaching methods to engage students. It makes no sense to use the age-old methods for evolving technology.
The education loan is a huge stress for students if they are unable to find a good job after the course. The banks offer zero to minimal flexibility with the repayment to wait until they get a better package. Because of this associated risk, many aspiring talents are unable to fulfil their dream.
The solution here is a success-based financing option for the students to promote higher education. It involves an agreement between the students and lenders that prevents repayment until the former starts to earn a predetermined income. Though, you can take a loan from direct lenders with no guarantor for your learning module with a long moratorium period.
Use the Date to Project Supply and Demand
Industries and educational institutions can work together to find the exact supply and demand for skill. They can use the industry data to find an accurate measure of course structure aligned with the market demand. These stats are enough to transform the job market by giving an estimate of employment for a student.
It will require the use of predictive data by the educational institutions to create the course structure and enrolment strategies. The time spent in the classroom should focus on important aspects of the technology that will help the students to secure employment. It is time to respect the difference between the traditional and technical courses with a different approach for both.
Change the Comfort Zone
Learning a new technology may seem overwhelming for the students as new terms will get introduced. It is difficult for some people to learn a new skill because they are uncomfortable with the change. However, a diverse skill set will help you find amazing opportunities in the industries after the machines take over the manual processes.
Create Employee-Friendly Policies
Employers can promote a learning environment in the organisation with their corporate policies and strategies. You should invest in the upskilling of the employees based on your requirements. It will help reduce the dependency on educational institutions to hire skilled talents.
You are nurturing talents to create an exceptional workforce after an investment in their skill development. The employees will feel the efforts to return the favour with loyalty and increased productivity. Moreover, you will have a better idea for the best outcomes from a course for your industry than the educational institutions.
To sum up, educational institutions and industries need to invest in digital skill development. The traditional approach is not ideal for engaging and educating the students on modern technologies such as AI or data science. Therefore, it will require some major changes in the course structures, learning accessibility, and financial support to bridge the digital skill gap in the UK.