The Reskilling Imperative: How to thrive in the digital economy

In the latest episode of the techUK podcast we are delighted to kick off a new series, The Reskilling Imperative, powered by Salesforce. Across four episodes the series will explore a range of issues relating to the digital skills gap - how do we ensure that the UK workforce has the necessary skills to thrive in the workplace of today and the future, how can tech companies ensure an inclusive workforce and support those from underrepresented and marginalised communities prosper, and how can business leaders support the upskilling of their current workforce to ensure they have the opportunity to continuously develop digital skills. 

In the first episode of the series, Nimmi Patel, Policy Manager, Skills, Talent and Diversity at techUK speaks with Adam Spearing, EMEA Field CTO & SVP Solution Consulting UKI, Salesforce to explore the skills gap, discuss how we can tackle some of the challenges, and help develop a workforce with the specialist skills required to thrive in the digital economy.  

The podcast explores a wide range of topics, touching on how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to develop soft and digital skills, Adam emphasises the need to address this skills gap within both the current and future workforces. Looking at anticipated jobs growth over the next few years, Adam and Nimmi discuss how Salesforce and the tech industry more widely must bring people from diverse backgrounds into the ecosystem.

The podcast also explores the opportunities available for young people in the digital economy. Adam believes that young people today have more skills than they realise and we need to show them the pathways they can follow with these skills. Adam flags Salesforce’s focus on coachable talent, rather than specific experience and skills in job adverts to help attract young people into the workforce. Salesforce’s growing apprenticeship programme also provides young people who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to go to university with a chance to balance learning and earning a living.  

Looking at the challenges businesses are facing due to the skills gap, Adam advises all businesses to have a strategic programme for upskilling their existing teams, and to consider what skills they need to bring into their organisations for the future.  

In order to target those who are less motivated to learn digital skills, Adam believes it is important to allow people to give it a try. Adam points to resources such as Salesforce’s Trailhead platform as useful tool which allows people to learn tech and business skills in a fun way.  

Finally, the podcast touches on Salesforce’s commitments to industry-wide initiatives such as techUK’s Fast Forward for Digital Jobs taskforce, with Adam pointing out that although tech companies compete against one another, it is essential for industry to come together to tackle the skills gap.