UK workers apathetic toward learning new skills says research.

Automation and technology provides no incentive.

Research published by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA) and backed by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has shown UK workers remain apathetic toward learning new skills despite automation and new technologies putting job security at risk. According to this year’s Mind the Skills Gap research, 37 per cent of British workers said they don’t feel the need to learn new skills, unchanged from 2018,

Nearly half of workers (49 per cent) said they believe any portion of their role could be automated in the future, up from 38 per cent in 2018. The research also indicated a growing appreciation of the need to integrate with technology and be agile, with 26 per cent of workers saying they think working seamlessly with new technologies will be one of the most important skills. However, the number of workers wanting to learn digital skills fell in 2018 from 27 per cent to 23 per cent in 2019. Instead, the percentage of workers interested in learning soft skills, such as critical thinking, communications and problem solving, rose from 23 per cent in 2018 to 29 per cent this year.

Contradicting the growing role of technology in the world of work, 55 per cent of SME decision makers said sections of their operations were less likely to be affected in the next five years, a decrease from 62 per cent in 2018.

This is the second year we’ve run this research and it continues to show there’s an apathy towards learning new skills and, more worryingly, a lack of desire to learn digital skills,” said Andrew Harding FCMA CGMA, chief executive — management accounting. “The UK’s goal to be a leading digital economy cannot be met if the capabilities of its workforce aren’t up to scratch. Attitudes to learning and reskilling need to change — employees, employers and policy-makers need to embrace the philosophy of learning, unlearning and relearning to support growth. A positive approach here will have a positive impact on UK productivity and economic growth.”  

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