According to the latest research commissioned by HR and recruitment specialists, Randstad, more than half of Australian workers don’t think they have the digital skills to guarantee future employability.
The quarterly Randstad Workmonitor Report reveals over half (55%) of Australians think they need to develop stronger digital skills to guarantee their future job prospects. A further two-thirds (67%) believe that digitisation of the workforce requires different skill sets to those available at their current employer.
The survey also found that 85% of Australians believe every company should have a digital strategy (84% globally), 62% of Australians surveyed state their employer has a digital strategy (59% globally), 67% agree that digitisation requires different skill sets than currently available with employees at their employer (68% globally) and 55% believe they personally need to acquire more digital skills to guarantee their future employability (62% globally).
What do these Randstad survey findings mean?
With careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) on the rise, and many existing jobs set to become even more digitally focused in the future, CEO of Randstad Australia & New Zealand Frank Ribuot says there is more pressure than ever on employers to upskill the workforce.
“Careers across the board are transforming with advances in technology, as we change the way we work, the way we communicate with customers and employees, and the way in which consumers spend and engage with brands,” Mr Ribuot said.
“In response, organisations are adopting increasingly sophisticated digital strategies to maintain a competitive edge and deliver a superior customer experience, but the workforce is not feeling confident their employer is keeping them up to speed with the pace of change.”
According to Ribuot, if the issue of skills shortages and lack of training is not addressed in the immediate future, Australia risks having a workforce that is not skilled for long-term employability.
“Organisations across many industries are snapping up talent with these digital skills, but not necessarily upskilling their existing workforce. This has led to a gap within the talent pool and that gap will be set to widen if the issue is not addressed. A shift in thinking needs to happen now or we risk a skills shortage in the long term, with a significant section of the workforce ending up unemployable in the near future.”
With 85% of the Australian workforce agreeing that every employer should have a digital strategy in place, Mr Ribuot added that focus on training needs to be the priority.
“People are obviously crying out to be upskilled and offering the right kind of training and development will be key to employers attracting and retaining top talent moving forward,” he said.
“This time of year is typically when people reflect and review their careers and consider a change if their needs aren’t being met. Randstad research shows talent is not just attracted to financial incentives, but also skills development, career progression and workplace flexibility.
“While it can seem daunting to train staff from scratch, employers should keep in mind that many skills are actually transferrable. Many customer service roles for example have already shifted from interacting face to face, to creating content for social media channels and listening and responding online to customer feedback. The same principles apply, it’s just about shifting our thinking around how service is delivered and how we train and develop our people in these skills.”