Businesses are being urged to help colleagues and customers boost their digital skillset, following reports that the majority feel they’re falling behind.

The changes in how many people work as a result of the pandemic has put a greater emphasis than ever on digital skills. However, many people across the UK feel ill-equipped to deal with a digital-first future, and worry about not being able to work with new and emerging tech developments.

In fact, some 80% of Brits say they do not feel ready for a digital-first world, according to the Salesforce Global Digital Skills Index. Alarmingly, this figure is higher than the global average, which stands nearer 75%.

Elsewhere, almost half of those polled (45%) said they felt ‘overwhelmed’ by the rate of digital change and development. This points to a worrying trend of more people getting left behind as technologies (and the skills needed to use them effectively) march on apace.

In light of these results, businesses across the UK have been urged to close the skills gap quickly, to not just ensure their staff members and customers feel less anxious about the future, but also provide them a competitive advantage going forward.

The impact of digital up-skilling could quickly be seen on the bottom line, as businesses today are said to waste 37% of their software budgets on technologies that are either incorrectly deployed, under-used by the workforce, or were simply the wrong tools to begin with (according to research by Lemon Learning).

In addition to all this, forecasters have warned that skills gaps higher up the chain also need to be addressed. They warn that, as well as the lay person getting to grips with new programs, Britain is on the cusp of a more advanced digital skills crisis, with a distinct lack of quality coders, programmers, and cybersecurity specialists coming through.

Derrin Kent, managing director at The Development Manager, explained how the advantages are there to be had not just for companies, but their employers, too. He wrote for “The transferable skills gained through training courses directly link to social mobility and earning power. “Digital support skills open gateways to more technical, high-paying roles that can even lead to a career in a more advanced tech position.”