In current times many of us have to use technology in order to do our jobs, this could mean using machinery, electronic devices, computers/laptops/tablets, smart phones are just a few that come to mind.  So when we apply for a job, the job description will ask for certain skills and qualifications, however, many of the employers/recruiters, don’t necessarily test for these skills at the recruitment stage. So what happens is individuals are recruited, who on paper have the requisite requirements, but not the practical experience.  Many employers make the assumption that most people will know how to use a computer and the applications, especially when recruiting young people.

Some 30 years ago I was in a situation where I wanted to work in a certain industry after leaving college, only to be told that I did not have the experience.  This was a catch 22 situation, as no one would employ someone without the experience and you could not get the experience without being employed.

For the past 15 years I have been working within an IT environment, providing support and training.  During this time I have seen varying IT skills amongst the staff, many of whom have not had proper training, other than shown what they must do or learnt as they do the job. This morning I was at a network meeting and a person I spoke to informed me that they are at the stage that they know what they need to know to do their job.  Which I wouldn’t deny as this is where most individuals are and developing further is not necessary. I would disagree, we are always developing our skills and knowledge on a daily basis, however, we choose to develop skills that we want, so why is IT/Digital skills not important for many?

Many people indicate that they are ‘very busy’ with their work and don’t have the time to develop their IT/Digital skills, as it is not considered important if they get by with what they know.  However, when something goes wrong or they are unable to do something, they get frustrated.  When someone shows them something that impresses them, they would say, “how did you do that?” or “show me how you did that?”.  Having the right skills can actually save you time and therefore giving you more time to do other things.

The Alba study (2011) showed that on average a full time employee, who does not have the correct MS Word skills, would cost around €398 per year per employee, for MS Excel around €560 per year per employee.  To read the full study report click here.  After the necessary training savings were made in time and costs, but it also improved work efficiency, better job satisfaction, greater loyalty to the company and more confidence in their own ability.  A recent study carried out the British Computer Society on Digital Skills in the workplace, highlighted the need for improved digital skills in the workplace.  Having the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) qualification is a good place to start to form the baseline of the IT/Digital competency of the workforce.

KITT Consultancy can work with you to identify and improve your workforce’s IT/Digital skills, and see the benefits of staff retention, productivity and overall competitiveness.

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