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Basic IT skills ‘crucial for most roles’

News | Modern workplace | New research | Email skills | BSC

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Basic IT and technology skills are becoming more important for an even wider range of roles in the modern workplace, according to new research.

A survey of HR professionals and employers conducted by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, found that 97 per cent of respondents saw email skills as either “very” or “quite” important for the majority of the roles in their organisation.

Interestingly, email was considered to be more important than other, older key skills, though they were still seen as vital. For example, 92 per cent of respondents testified to the importance of word processing competence in their workplaces, while 89 per cent said spreadsheet skills were equally necessary.

“Our survey shows how important it is to be able to operate a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone to be successful in today's work environment,” says Jon Buttriss, chief executive of BCS Learning and Development, part of the Institute.

“Today, almost every job relies on some aspect of technology whether it's sitting at a PC in an office, working at a checkout or delivering parcels.”

Mr Buttriss adds that many employers believe these basic skills increase the efficiency of new staff so they can be productive straight away, benefiting the organisation in the process.

Reflecting the changing nature of the workplace, newer skills are beginning to grow in significance - more than seven out of ten of those surveyed said social media skills were important for the majority of their roles.

Yet in spite of these growing demands on employers, many workplaces are still lagging behind when it comes to delivering the right training to prepare their staff.

Some 81 per cent of employers say they need their workforce to have digital skills of one form or another - but just over half believe their employees are currently equipped to meet future challenges.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock says: “The modern world and workforce is becoming increasingly dependent on the internet, yet there are still 11 million people in the UK without basic digital skills. If we are to compete in the global race then we must have an IT and digitally literate population.”


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 13th May 2014

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