Over three-quarters of workers do not feel ready to operate in a digital-first world, but only 28% are actively involved in digital skills learning and training. There is a major gap emerging between everyday digital skills and those needed for work, especially among younger workers. Using collaboration technologies is viewed as the most important digital workplace skill for workers over the next five years.
Salesforce has published its new Global Digital Skills Index, revealing a growing global digital skills crisis and an urgent need for action. The Salesforce Index is based on over 23,000 workers in 19 countries reporting their readiness to acquire key digital skills.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) don’t feel equipped to learn the digital skills needed by businesses now and even more (76%) don’t feel equipped for the future. Despite 82% of survey respondents planning to learn new skills in the next five years, only 28% are actively involved in digital skills learning and training programs now.
The global digital skills gap
This gap is a concern – but it also presents an opportunity. With companies around the world rapidly transitioning to digital-first models, the demand for employees with digital skills has soared.
The Salesforce Index’s overall global score for digital readiness, assessed in terms of preparedness, skill level, access, and active participation in digital upskilling, is currently only 33 out of 100. The countries represented in the survey ranged from scores of 63 to 15, highlighting that while certain countries feel more digitally ready than others, there is an urgent need for global investment to close the digital skills gap and build a more inclusive workforce.
Everyday digital skills don’t translate to the workplace
Everyday skills such as social media and web navigation don’t necessarily translate to the core workplace digital skills needed by business to drive recovery, resilience, and growth.
More than two thirds of all Gen Z respondents (64%) say they have advanced social media skills — supporting the stereotype of digital mastery among the younger generation — but less than a third (31%) believe they have the advanced digital workplace skills needed by businesses now.
Generational skills gap
However, the Salesforce Index also reveals that younger respondents have the greatest confidence and ambition to learn new skills — over one-third of Gen Z is actively learning and training for skills needed over the next five years compared to 12% of Baby Boomers.
According to the Salesforce Index, skills in collaboration technology are viewed as the most important digital workplace skill for workers today and over the next five years. But despite respondents’ prowess with everyday collaboration technology like social media, only 25% rate themselves advanced in those collaboration technology skills needed specifically for the workplace.