Recent research by the Learning & Work Institute revealed that fewer than half of British employers believe young people are leaving full-time education with sufficiently advanced digital skills, and that over three-quarters of firms (76%) think that a lack of digital skills will hit their profitability.
It’s an issue that ACE members are also acutely aware of and why all current Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) apprenticeships, from level three and above, include and meet future requirements in terms of creating a digital ready workforce.
However, it’s also a rapidly evolving area, further accelerated by pandemic lockdowns where working from home, mobile technology and remote productivity tools have opened up new possibilities in terms of digital approaches.
Dr Caroline Sudworth, Consultant in Apprenticeship Standards at TAC said: “Going forward, the industry will be looking to include more digital skills whether that’s integrating CAD, modelling, data handling, and BIM, or the project management around their use.
“This skillset might not come from the traditional areas that our employers currently recruit from – for example it may favour those who have worked in gaming or similar fields, to come up with ideas to on visualisations, walk-throughs and augmented reality.”
“However, now is the time to embrace digital change and TAC apprenticeships can help organisations shape a proactive digital growth strategy and ensure that as well as being driven from the top-down, the agenda is driven from the bottom-up as well.”
As well as ensuring today’s skills needs are met through apprenticeships, ACE is also exploring the requirements of tomorrow’s business, through the Future Skills group which forms part of the Future of Consultancy workstream.
Lara Potter (Arcadis), chair of ACE’s Future Skills group said: “It should come as no surprise that digital skills are ubiquitous in all roles and across all industries. Our sector, however, will also need specialists who can work with data – data scientists, analysts, system thinkers, process automation experts, and more – if it is to seize the opportunities afforded by new technology.
“While apprentices and emerging professionals will, of course, spearhead this move, it is also about the readiness of the existing workforce to adapt to these new skills. Supporting new apprenticeships is one way of ensuring your business remains open-minded when it comes to new technology.”
ACE or EIC members interested in exploring the potential of apprenticeships in shaping a digital workforce fit for tomorrow’s world should get in touch with TAC today. Find out more.