The IoD’s November seminar, sponsored by Butterfield, discussed the importance of addressing the digital skills gap – which has become more pressing due to the acceleration of digital adoption and automation seen during the pandemic.
Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, the new digital lead for the Committee for Economic Development, opened the breakfast by explaining how technology can help us all improve productivity at such a crucial time for the economy.
She set out three areas of focus going forward, explaining that ambition was needed, along with infrastructure around super-fast connectivity, a review of ‘skills Guernsey’ and a new delivery approach, for example looking at public/private partnerships and working in a collaborative way.
Leyla Yildirim, Director at PwC, discussed a recent PwC report on the digital skills gap, outlining the challenges and opportunities currently facing businesses. She said there will be demand for new skills but asked whether we have the talent to fulfill those roles. In the future work will flow to where people are, and location will become even less important than it is now. Doing nothing is simply not an option.
Upskilling shouldn’t be seen as a cost to a business, it should be seen as a business enabler and the cost to the economy will be six times greater should we do nothing now while people are still in jobs.
PwC has created a Digital Fitness app (details in the presentation below) which provides you with a level of fitness based on the assessment questionnaire and then leads you into a skills learning journey.
In closing, Leyla said she felt there needed to be a clear focus on three things going forward: connectivity, access to digital skills for all and work-ready skills. She believes we need a joint task force from the States, business, education and the third sector to work towards common goals.
Charlotte Dunsterville from Sure shared her experience of being in a digitally enabled organisation and how they have enabled change in their business and upskilled their workforce.
She used the transformation of their customer billing system as an example; early engagement internally was key to the success of the project along with appointing ‘super users’ to help bring less digitally able team members along on the journey.
Charlotte said that staff engagement was key and it was all about small nudges and gestures of recognition that make a difference, alongside more regular staff feedback surveys and opportunities for team members to ask questions about the strategy and execution in real time.
She ended by reflecting that digital transformation and upskilling along with cultural change doesn’t come from a silver bullet but instead a whole range of nudges and activity to build a staff community.
The breakfast was kindly sponsored by Butterfield and the next event is taking place on 4 December. You can register here.