87% of Employees in IT & Telecoms Want to Upskill in 2022Izzy Murphyon January 24, 2022 at 11:30 TechRound

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87% of employees in IT and telecoms want to upskill this year, as government campaign launches to boost business growth in 2022 .

Employers urged to make the most of national appetite for learning new work skills, as 70% of workers interested in developing their skills in 2022
Today, government launches a new ‘Skills for Life’ campaign for employers to boost business growth by skilling up workforce

Major IT and digital employers including Mastercard, BT, Virgin Media O2, Openreach and Accenture have called on employers to ‘join the skills revolution’

Upskilling your employees ‘helps with attraction and retention of staff, provides motivation and engagement.’ says Viren Patel, Director of the Business Development Unit at The Open University

Businesses across the IT and digital sector are being urged to ‘Join the skills revolution’ as tens of millions of employees around England express desire to skill up in their jobs this year. New research has revealed that a huge 87% of workers in the IT and telecoms industries are interested in learning new work skills in 2022, over-indexing against the nation’s average of 70%.

The new Censuswide survey of over 4,000 of the UK’s workforce showed a clear national appetite for skills development and indicated that employees are hungry to learn more and progress further in their careers this year compared to 2021 – with 69% wanting increased job satisfaction in 2022 and 67% feeling that gaining new skills will be key to achieving their work goals.

Over a quarter (28%) of workers said that progression and opportunities to learn were paramount goals in their working life. 

This research coincides with the launch of the government campaign which urges employers to ‘join the skills revolution’, aiming to help businesses across a wide range of industries gear up for economic recovery by skilling up their workforce. The campaign highlights the range of training and employment schemes available for businesses wanting to boost their workforce capabilities, including apprenticeships, traineeships and T levels.

Skilling Up in IT & Digital

The sector specific findings, indicating 87% of the IT and telecoms workforce hungry to skill up, also laid out the top areas workers are keen to explore including IT and digital (20%), finance (16%) and business (16%). Businesses are being encouraged to grasp this development opportunity to boost their business growth.

Prominent industry voices have spoken out on the importance of skills to drive better results and retain their workforce.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: “At Openreach, we hire and train thousands of people every year to help us keep the UK connected. The Apprenticeship Levy has been crucial for us as we train and develop our team. “As we continue to build a new ultrafast ultrareliable broadband network to 25 million homes and businesses all over the country, we’re committed to giving people from all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue exciting and rewarding careers. Our engineers, equipped with Skills for Life are then able to deploy and maintain the network households, families and businesses rely on.”

Kelly Devine, President of Mastercard, UK & Ireland, said: “The Skills for Life campaign has been designed to help people who need workplace support, through essential skills workshops and on-the-job training, to help build resilience and personal development. Through our Strive UK programme, we know many micro and small business owners are eager to get the support they need to upskill themselves and their employees, increasing their ability to access new customers and markets and ultimately to grow. The Skills for Life campaign will also support those who need the most help with digital skills and technology but don’t know where to look for resources and advice.”

 IT professional services company Version 1 deliver a range of digital and transformation services to both UK public and private sectors. As part of their own ‘Community First’ strategy, the business has included a range of placement and careers development activities in public sector contracts, recently supporting a student from Harrow and Uxbridge College, studying the digital production, design, and development T Level, through an industry placement as part of their IT work with Harrow Council.

Jude McVitty, Social Value Manager, Version 1 said: “Version 1 is passionate about our social commitment to the employability of young people into our industry. We are excited to be able to work with the local college and the Local Authority in partnership to facilitate this – and other future – T Level industry placements that we hope will lead to a successful career in the digital sector. The industry placement supported a local employer; and the student gained experience in the workplace, whilst developing their skills and knowledge of IT. 

“As we work with a range of public and private sector organisations, we will realise more opportunities to support learners on a range of courses to gain the work experience they need. This benefits the students, our customers, our organisation and our industry; a perfect platform for success.”

The ‘Join the Skills Revolution’ campaign will showcase hundreds of government-funded skills opportunities available and help businesses to up skill their employees, find new talent and be a part of training the future workforce.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education said: “It is no secret that a skilled and motivated workforce is the key to driving better performance and boosting productivity. There has never been a better time to make skills a top priority. To support businesses to unlock untapped talent there is a huge range of training available to help upskill their staff for free including online courses to boost numeracy to apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels or our Skills Bootcamps.”

A Demand for Learning

The research found a considerable demand for on-the-job training, with 39% of workers saying they would find this particularly useful. A further 31% of workers wanted courses specific to their sector, as well as encouragement and practical support from their employer – with 1 in 3 saying they felt held back by a lack of time (36%), a lack of confidence (31%) or knowing where to start (30%). 

The opportunities on offer as part of the Join the Skills Revolution campaign, have been designed by and in partnership with employers, listening to businesses to meet their recruitment needs and address skills gaps, through flexible, free or subsidised courses. Skills Bootcamps for example, provide fast-track sector specific training in areas such as construction, HGV driving, green skills, digital, manufacturing and engineering, as well as creating a pool of skilled staff ready to recruit with the right training. 

Businesses are urged to join the skills revolution and drive better performance, by visiting  www.gov.uk/skills-support – for skills opportunities designed by employers, for employers.

Meanwhile adult learners can discover hundreds of opportunities to learn new skills at gov.uk/SkillsforLife – from free careers advice and courses to advanced qualifications and on-the-job training. 

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