A Survey with Employers
In the Spring a survey was delivered to Employers in the target countries (and across the EU). There was a wide spread across sectors; a majority of SMEs but a significant number of larger employers (almost one quarter were 250+, and a third were 100 employees or more). Around 60% had been operating for more than 10 years, with almost 30% in operation longer than 20 years. 90% were in urban areas.
Almost 80% believe that digital working will disrupt their sector in the next three years. Around 40% of respondents believed that each of Augmented/Virtual Reality (44%), Big Data(41%), Internet of Things (41%) and Artificial Intelligence (39%) will also disrupt their sector. More than 60% believe that their company revenue will rise in the future as a result of digital disruption, with around 30% believing it will rise a lot. Only 5% felt it would likely fall as a result.
With respect to skills, over 80% felt that teamworking and collaboration skills would be needed, with 60% believing that data and information handling would be needed. More than 50% felt that there would be job gains as a result of digital working and big data. With respect to the EC Digital Competences framework there was a very even spread across all 21 identified competences, with little variance below 3 or above 4 out of 5 in a rating of importance.
Regarding recruitment more than 60% believe that newly recruited employees (with most of the skills they might need) can learn the remaining skills ‘on the job’, while 30% look for an exact match. Around a third offer inhouse training either to new employees or existing staff, but only 15% work with external organisations to build tailored training packages. The barriers to retraining existing staff were all about the same at 30% (difficulty, time and costly).