Using emerging talent to close your digital skills gap

5 minutes

The digital skills gap signifies the clear lack of digital skills that businesses need to operate effectively. Using emerging talent is one of the best ways you can close this gap.


Many businesses lack the relevant digital skills they need. This is because the talent pool is too small for the demand for highly-skilled workers. As a result, there's a digital skills gap, which is limiting businesses' ability to perform and grow.  

Companies are becoming more reliant on technology. So, the digital skills gap is impacting businesses on a global scale. According to McKinsey, 87% of global companies have a skills gap or expect to in the coming years. So, your company is most likely currently experiencing its own digital skills gap. 

We recognise this is a relevant topic in today’s evolving digital world. So, this article will go through everything you need to know about the digital skills gap. And we will give you solutions to make sure you have the skills you need to maximise your company’s performance.  

What skills are in demand? 

There's one area of the skills gap in particular which is continuing to widen. These are roles that rely on a certain level of expertise when it comes to working with data. In 2022, data analysis was the number one tech-centric skill in demand. It saw a significant increase in comparison to both 2020 and 2021.

Because of this information, you might wonder why data experts are in such high demand. Well, that’s because technology companies are leveraging data more than ever. After all, data allows them to use the best possible strategies going forward. This is important to remember if you are to enjoy continued business growth as well. 

Also, data analysis can help you to gain more of an understanding of your customers. You can see how well your products and services are performing. This allows you to concentrate on building effective advertising campaigns. This, in turn, will allow you to make more sales. If you follow this course of action and use data to run your business, you need the right data experts.  

Why is there a digital skills gap?

Over recent years, technology has continued to develop and systems have improved. So, employees need to have digital skills to fulfil the demands of their job roles. Of course, some roles are more technical than others. And because of this, they will need a higher level of expertise, which can be hard to come by. 

This recurring issue has only been further emphasised by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the great resignation, which led to workers leaving their jobs in record numbers. This development means businesses don’t have access to the right level of digital skills. This has left businesses to compete over a small pool of talent. As a result, tech workers have been able to leverage higher salaries due to an increase in demand. There has also been a seismic shift to hybrid and remote working schemes. This has put employees in a much better place to dictate the terms of their working arrangements. 

So where does this leave businesses? Well, it puts them in a challenging position. If you find yourself in this situation as a business owner, then you’ll no doubt have a tough decision to make. You can opt to leave the position in question unfulfilled. But, this can stunt business growth. Or you can hire an experienced employee. Yet, this can be costly and unpredictable. This is because other companies can tempt the new hire away with more money. Yet, your business can pursue other options for a more sustainable long-term future.

Closing your digital skills gap with emerging talent

Improving the performance of your employees is one way to prompt business growth. But, before you can improve performance, your business needs the right skills. Of course, one solution is to hire experienced talent. But, there's also the more cost-effective route of hiring those new to the workforce. But, how can you ensure your emerging talent realises their potential?

Training and development opportunities

As we know, experienced professionals are not always easy to recruit. This limits your access to the skills you need, leaving your skills gap open. A viable solution to this is to upskill your current employees. This ensures they continue to develop their skills within your company. With this method, you can support the emerging talent within your workforce. Training and development opportunities help you to close your skills gap. But, they also allow your employees to realise their potential. 

With training, your employees can stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Retraining your existing employees is a cost-effective method of closing your skills gap. This is especially true when compared to the cost of hiring experienced workers. 

Training does more than close your skills gap and improve your business's performance. In fact, providing training opportunities comes with a variety of other benefits. Your employees will realise they can learn and progress with your company.  This will motivate them to stay with your company and maintain a high work ethic. This will increase productivity and reduce costs. 

Upskill with apprenticeships 

Another way that emerging talent can realise their potential is through apprenticeships. The great thing about apprenticeships is there are varying paths of progression. This means employees can make use of apprenticeships, no matter their experience level. Apprenticeships help individuals build skills for the future. You can utilise apprenticeships for both your existing employees and new starters alike. 

We have already established the importance of data analysis.  Apprenticeships can work as an effective method to solve the data skills shortage. Pareto understands the importance of apprenticeships when it comes to encouraging employee development. That’s why we offer the Data Analyst Level 4 Apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is suitable for a variety of data-related job roles. And it allows learners to develop a variety of technical skills. 

Too many projects and not enough talent resources? Download our latest insight, Realising the Potential of Emerging Talent. And discover how entry-level talent could work for you.

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