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Date: 07/04/2017

Digital skills are increasingly important to the operation of businesses in the UK but companies are facing a shortage of skills in their workforce which is hampering productivity, according to a new survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), released today (Friday).

The survey of more than 1,400 businesses across the UK found that 84% of firms say digital and IT skills are more important to their business than two years ago, with half (51%) saying these skills are significantly more important.
However, the survey also found that more than three-in-four businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce, with 52% reporting a slight shortage, 21% a significant one and 3% a critical shortage.
The key findings of the survey are:
  • The skills most important to companies are basic computer skills (72%), communicating and connecting through digital channels (71%) and management of digital information (69%)
  • Skills shortages are having adverse effects on many firms including, increasing workload on existing staff (52%), higher operating costs (29%), and causing difficulties in meeting customer requirements (28%)
  • Businesses regard a lack of time for staff training (41%), difficulty in identifying appropriate training (32%), and the high cost of training (25%), as the leading barriers to rectifying these shortages.
Olivia Williams, Events and Training Manager at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Our Quarterly Economic Surveys show that businesses continue to struggle to recruit staff with the right skills. In an uncertain climate, boosting employees’ skills by providing training is an important way to address this shortage by growing skills within the business, as well as showing an investment in employee development.
The Chamber run a range of training courses, including our popular PR and Marketing series. These courses have seen a considerable increase in bookings as businesses have a greater need for digital strategies. The courses range from “An Introduction to Digital Marketing and PR”, to “Google Analytics”, “Search Engine Optimisation” and “Email Marketing”. They are delivered by Ben Feltwell, Director at AlphaQuad, and consistently receive very positive feedback from attendees.”
For more information about Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s range of training courses, please visit