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Bridging the Digital Divide

Bridging the Digital Divide report

With the pace of digital development rapidly accelerating, many organisations are currently considering how they can address digital skills shortages.

The Open University’s 2019 Bridging the Digital Divide report highlights the extent of digital skills gaps and the impact they are having on organisations and their employees. Currently, nine in 10 (88%) organisations admit they have a shortage of digital skills, which is already having a significant negative impact on productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

The Open University is currently working with organisations and the government to support them in overcoming skills gaps in the workforce, and wider labour market, by developing high-quality apprenticeships and flexible degree programmes that meet their needs. 

The new report attempts to identify some solutions that can help organisations to build strategies for coping with the unpredictable and shifting needs of the digital economy. Many organisations are starting to see the benefits of lifelong learning when it comes to digital skills. The majority (85%) of senior leaders agree that it will become necessary to move to a model of lifelong learning in future, where employees are constantly developing and building new skills. And this also comes with other benefits, with employers reporting increased productivity (41%) and better engagement (31%) amongst those who have upskilled.

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