Digital skills gap damaging UK business

19 October 2015 -


New research has found that almost a quarter of small businesses do not have the required skills to be a success in today’s digital world

Matt Scott

More than a million small businesses do not have the necessary skills to be a success in the digital era, according to the latest research from Go.On UK.

The research found that 23% of small businesses are lacking the basic digital skills needed in a digitally-focussed world, such as using search engines, sending and receiving online messages, completing online transactions and using digital solutions to solve problems.

The report from Go.On UK said: “Without basic digital skills, these SMEs are missing out on their share of the UK’s annual website sales of £193 billion. Not only that, but they also risk losing potential business because they can’t be found online, may be missing an opportunity to deliver a better, more efficient service to their customers, and may not be maximising their competitiveness.

“If the UK is to become the competitive, successful global economy and society that we need to be, then we urgently need to work together to give these… organisations the skills they need to participate fully in the digital world.”

Furthermore, more than 12 million individuals are also suffering from a lack of basic digital skills, with 20% of men and 26% of women at risk of being left behind in the digital revolution.

Wales was the region with the poorest digital skills in the UK, with more than one third of the population not having all the basic digital skills identified by the researchers.

Meanwhile, London, Scotland and East Anglia came top of the league with over 80% of people having the necessary skills for a digital world.

You can see more of the regional differences on Go.On UK’s digital exclusion heatmap

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