A recent study conducted by UST highlights that a significant portion of UK businesses are facing challenges due to a shortage of fundamental tech skills.

This deficiency is causing delays in the implementation of digital transformation strategies and the integration of emerging technologies.

While the UK’s expenditure on digital initiatives is projected to grow by 5.2 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, survey respondents expressed the need for increased government incentives to encourage businesses to invest in Research and Development. Additionally, 44 percent of participants advocated for enhanced support for STEM programs at the educational level.

Efforts are underway to attract a more diverse range of candidates with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) backgrounds. Almost half (49 percent) of the surveyed leaders mentioned advertising in new platforms to reach a wider pool of applicants. Furthermore, 42 percent reported the implementation of apprenticeship programs in an attempt to bridge the skills gap.

Legacy IT systems were identified as a key factor in impeding digital transformations by 33 percent of the leaders. To facilitate the adoption of more advanced and efficient systems, it is crucial to develop digital expertise within organisations.

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, commented on the shortage of tech skills:

“The shortage of talent is currently identified as a significant obstacle to the adoption of new and emerging technologies, hampering both business growth and the economy. It is encouraging to witness organizations taking proactive measures to train individuals from diverse backgrounds, including women, returners, and ex-forces personnel. These groups possess untapped and relevant skills that are often overlooked.”

“Technology and innovation are key drivers of growth. For the UK to achieve its technological and economic objectives, investments in skills development are imperative. This entails guiding young individuals who are preparing to embark on their careers. Insufficient expertise will render new technologies redundant and undeveloped, causing businesses to miss out on increased productivity.”

“The government should continue to support businesses in their endeavours to bridge the skills gap. This will enable organizations to provide educational and training opportunities to individuals who can be taught or retrained in the skills that are in high demand.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.