European business ‘struggling’ with skills challenge says industry survey.

The digital challenge.

Organisations across Europe are facing a major skills challenge caused by digital transformation, with many struggling to keep pace with learning and development (L&D) needs, according to research from Skillsoft. The survey was carried out in UK, France and Germany, and found that reskilling in the face of changing and increasingly digital working environments is the biggest single issue for L&D professionals across all three countries (42 per cent of respondents on average).

However, only 22 per cent of respondents from across the three countries said their organisations are fully prepared to provide the new skills required by digital transformation. The UK sits below this average, with just 14 per cent of organisations saying they have fully prepared employees with new skills, with France only slightly higher than the average, reporting 33 per cent of organisations are fully prepared. France had the most respondents say they are doing nothing to build digital transformation skills (20 per cent), compared to Germany at three per cent and the UK at one per cent. In each country, most respondents believe their organisations need to do more to keep pace with digital transformation.

Despite the overwhelming response that organisations are not preparing employees for digital transformation, only half of the organisations in each country have increased investment in skills to keep pace with digital transformation (UK – 56 per cent, France – 54 per cent, Germany – 56 per cent). 

“It’s clear that across these three major territories, digital transformation is severely testing the planning, implementation and spending strategies for L&D professionals,” explained Steve Wainwright, managing director EMEA at Skillsoft. “Despite a clear trend of increasing and targeted investment, the industry faces a challenge to keep pace with the changes that digital transformation is bringing. It’s vital, therefore, that we also look to technology to help build successful L&D strategies so we can all reap the benefits of this exciting era of disruptive change in the way we learn, widen our skillsets and give employees the greatest opportunity to develop.”

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