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The UK digital economy will need 2.3 million workers in the next five years

The digital economy boom can’t achieve its high promises for one reason – there are not enough people who have the needed digital skills. In the United Kingdom alone there will be a need for 2.3 million workers in the digital economy by 2020.

This is what the results from a survey by mobile operator O2 shows, ComputerWeekly reports. This means the UK digital economy would need approximately 96 000 new workers per month from now to the end of the period. By contrast, the O2 survey estimates that only 766 000 digital jobs will be created over the next five years. An alternative survey is predicting 1.1 million new digital jobs to be created by 2017. Although a big improvement, it is still not nearly enough .

47% of them will be in London or in the south-east areas which is another concern for disproportionate spread of the workers. It is somewhat odd since a digital job should allow much more mobility and not tie people to the office desks. “It’s promising to see so many jobs will be required to fulfil the UK’s digital potential. But we can’t get complacent – these figures highlight that the economy is nowhere near digital maturity and – worryingly – the opportunities that are being created, are predominantly in the south,” O2 business director, Ben Dowd, says.

“We’re committed to playing our part – which is why we’ve launched an ambitious partnership with St Helens Council to show other communities what’s possible when they put connectivity at their heart”, he adds. O2 wants to create a “blueprint” for other areas to showcase the benefits of connectivity. The goal is to have ““the entire nation can feel the benefits of the UK’s growing digital economy”.

“Raising our digital profile will not only boost our commercial and employment prospects, but help to connect our communities and deal with issues like social isolation,” said St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald. There will be a community hackathon to raise awareness for the digital skills and spark interest from the youth towards the field.

As we’ve seen previously, companies are aiming to hire people with digital skills fast, since they need qualified employees with digital skills as soon as possible. This means now it is a great time to get certified and expand your knowledge base. Coursedot has just the right thing for you.

Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Vancouver Film School