Need to Develop Digital Skills Among All Ages
Simon Behan

Need to Develop Digital Skills Among All Ages

Younger employees aren't the only ones who are tech savvy - older staff want to be involved and be trained up in IT too.

That's according to research from VMware that shows companies should set aside the "millennial myth" that only younger employees have an interest in technology. Instead, employees of all ages would benefit from digital skills training, and employees should expand their focus beyond millennials in order to better drive digital transformation. In a study of 5,700 EMEA employees, it was found that training in digital skills is desired by all age groups working in the sector, contradicting the ‘’myth" that has developed within the industry and beyond.

Of the respondents, 69 per cent believed that more widespread use of digital skills in the UK would increase revenue and profitability over five years, while 75 per cent said it would improve their company’s competitive edge and 73 per cent believe it would aid collaboration between colleagues.

Matt Crosby, head of expertise for the UK and Ireland at global management consulting firm Hay Group, said: “The challenge and opportunity will be in aligning senior teams with years of experience of running businesses in a pre-digital age with younger talent who bring new expertise, expectations and motivations. “Each company must work hard to find a system that brings this multi-generational workforce together, doing some of the ‘old’ things well, such as measuring accountability, performance and outcomes, whilst also making sure that ideas and news ways of working flourish.”

More than 60 per cent of Ireland and UK employees are willing to learn outside of work in their own time, the survey showed, with 35 per cent of 45-54 years olds and 23 per cent of over 55s currently seeking advice on how to design and build mobile applications. In addition, 47 per cent of 45-54 year olds said they wanted to train in areas such as coding and online content creation.

“Successful digital transformation in today’s business world is shaped by culture, people and capabilities,” said Joe Baguley, vice president and chief technology officer at VMware EMEA. “enterprises are rightly investing heavily in ‘digital’ talent as they look to harness the key skills and capabilities that can help organisations across the country to help them better understand the ‘art of the possible’ with regards to truly transforming their use of technologies and skills for the digital age. “Only then will businesses be able to fully utilise their talent, of all ages, and realise their potential.”

Many potential reasons for a lack of support for employees utilising or enhancing their digital skillsets were highlighted in the survey, with 42 per cent of 18-24 year olds respondents saying they think senior management do not understand their business’s tech infrastructure well enough. Of all those surveyed, 56 per cent believe Ireland and UK companies need to invest more in formal training, and 47 per cent think that development of a culture that embraces digital skills should be a priority. Steven-Long-Sales-Manager-SureSkills

Steven Long, Training & Certification Manager at SureSkills said: "It’s a huge positive to see that it’s not just today’s young workforce that have a real desire for the digital age. With the majority of millennials today growing up with digital elements everywhere they look, there has been a view that the older generations are steering clear of these changes and are happy with what they already know and use. "VMware’s research outlines this to be false and that there needs to be shift in the way we approach digital development for employees across every age bracket.

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