This was the result of a survey by Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate learning.
The study was carried out at the Digital Transformation Expo Europe at the end of 2019 among 200 participants from the specialist audience. The results show that IT professionals do not receive the crucial training and further education measures in the area of digital skills to ensure in the long term that they can assert themselves in changing work functions or are able to cope with the change to new ways of working.
Additionally, the results suggest that most of the respondents (81 percent) indicated that they would have to learn new skills within the next 18 months in order to continue to master their current role confidently and competently.
However, 59 percent feared that their current company would not provide them with the level of training or preparation that would be required to continue to be employable or qualified in the future; a further 47 percent stated that their team or department did not currently have the skills or know-how that would be required to meet the requirements of the industry.
In particular with regard to activities in the field of DevOps, AI, cyber and data security, and infrastructure and cloud, the respondents expressed strong concerns that the training measures taken cannot keep pace with the requirements of digital transformation. As a result, employees would not be able to implement the new work practices.
It also posits a striking discrepancy between the perception of employers and employees regarding what training and qualification measures would be necessary. This suggests that many companies fail to prepare the workforce in line with the ambitious goals of digital transformation.
Employees call for more qualification measures and support
Almost half (45 percent) of those surveyed reported that the upcoming implementation of new technologies requires that their company must be more active in the area of employee training and skills development. A further 16 percent indicated that increased investments in digital qualifications are essential.
Most of the respondents (85 percent) said that their role was already impacting digital transformation. 79 percent would have liked more learning, training or advanced training opportunities in the past 18 months to ensure that they are adequately qualified for their developing roles.
Businesses neglect retraining
Instead of providing the right tools to support sustainable learning geared towards the broader goals of the industry, businesses seem to be neglecting the need for employee digital skills development:
89 percent of respondents said their company could do more to provide the learning, education and training opportunities needed.
84 percent would prefer to acquire the skills needed to take on roles affected by digital transformation with their current employer rather than looking for another job.
Only 30 percent feel so supported by their current employer that they feel up to the new demands that a digitally transformed role entails.
59 percent believe that their company would prefer to recruit specialists for new roles rather than better train employees already working for the company.
Retraining measures do not meet employee expectations
Despite the rapidly evolving work roles and the fact that employees would love to train to acquire the skills and abilities they should have in the face of general expectations, companies appear to have difficulty addressing the existing skills gap.
According to the survey, only 17 percent of all companies have an effective program with which employees are retrained and qualified for new tasks.
57 percent of the companies have a program that is in need of improvement.
There is no training program at all in 10 percent of the companies.
Finally, only 15 percent of the companies have successfully used new technologies to support learning, training and further education, while 69 percent have implemented this at least in some areas.
"Today's workforce is recruited from five different generations - from traditionalists to Generation Z - who all have to master the digital transformation. It is therefore all the more important that companies make their employees future-proof, invest in their qualifications and offer the training and support that employees need for their new roles and the acquisition of new specialist knowledge. In order to meet the requirements of digital transformation, employees have to be prepared to work with the new technologies and qualified accordingly to ensure that they can confidently perform their extended roles."
Steve Wainwright, Managing Director, EMEA, Skillsoft