Digital skills are the order of the day

Jenni Armstrong

Former Brand and Content Manager, Google

There’s a lot of talk on the streets of London that many people in the UK are struggling to pick up the digital skills to thrive – nay survive – in the rapidly evolving business world.

In a speech to the Oxford Guild on Monday, Ashok Vaswani – Head of Barclays Retail – claimed that the UK population are creating a ‘forgotten middle’ demographic who are ‘simply getting by’ online.

Certainly, many businesses will struggle to compete effectively and combat increasing digital competition at home and abroad.IIn my work as a digital consultant I spend a great deal of time nurturing digital talent on one hand, and trying to figure out how to get the commercial reins from the powers that be on the other. The fact remains, we’d be better off if we all collaborated – both top down and bottom up. See you in the ‘forgotten middle’, as it were.

The digital revolution is constant, involving, real-time, transformational, scary and damnably exciting – but not if we aren’t collectively committed.

I’ve just jumped off the plane from Shanghai via Seoul and whilst we are debating squeezed educational budgets and 4G roll-outs in the UK, they’re learning advanced coding at primary school level.

We might argue then, that the problem is one of infrastructure, not willingness. We’re falling behind not because of lack of skill, but because we don’t have the resource.

Maybe, just maybe, we ought to think about changing that, by equipping all of our teams with the knowledge they need to identify what’s broken, and even better – create collaborative solutions.

Now, you’d expect this from me, I work in digital education at Squared Online and beyond – but the truth is, no, the fact is – digital skills are on the menu, whether you choose to order them or not.

Aiden Carrol is part of our team of expert speakers on Squared Online. Find out more about Squared Online: you can give us a ring on +44 (0) 20 7173 5938, or download the brochure to read about the course and the Squared experience.