A number of companies in the UK have unfilled 'digital vacancies' with some being unable to find employees with basic computer skills, including writing documents and using spreadsheets, according to a report by TCS and Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The study, titled 'Delivering Skills for the New Economy', surveyed 250 companies. It highlighted that while the companies in the UK expect requirement for digital skills to skyrocket in the next three years, less than one-third of the respondents were confident of being able to meet those needs.
Over two-third (67 per cent) of the companies surveyed said they have unfilled digital vacancies.
"One in five firms is unable to find employees with basic computer skills - including writing documents and using spreadsheets. Advanced digital skills are in greater demand in all sectors, with 55 per cent of larger firms reporting challenges in recruiting software engineers and 61 per cent struggling to hire data analysts," it added.
The majority of companies surveyed said they are taking action to tackle their digital skills shortages, with 56 per cent expressing confidence they are spending enough on addressing their digital skills needs right now.
"Around 60 per cent of larger firms surveyed said their digital skill needs are set to skyrocket over the next three to five years, but less than a third (31 per cent) are confident that the UK business community will be able to access the digital skills they need in the next three to five years," it said.
According to a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report, Digital Skills Crisis, 2016, the UK is losing out on 63 billion pounds a year as companies struggle to find people with digital skills.
This could jeopardise the UK's competitiveness, deter investment and limit people's ability to make the most of the opportunity technology brings.
"ln today's digital economy, there are two key focuses for sustainable talent development: encouraging students to understand what it takes to pursue a successful career in technology, and giving employees the best possible training opportunities," TCS VP and Country Head (UK and lreland) Shankar Narayanan said.
He added that the Mumbai-based company is focused on developing STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills in communities all around the UK.
"This new research with the CBI makes it clear that for the UK economy to remain competitive, it's important to urgently invest in re-skilling the current workforce and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in technology," he said.
CBI recommended that the government must set an ambitious target for the entire UK workforce to have basic digital skills by 2025, and work with businesses to engage with relevant academic and technical education institutions.