What will the ‘future of work’ look like? It’s a hot topic right now with conferences springing up all over Europe seeking to answer this question. Indeed there is a much anticipated one happening this Friday May 12th in Dublin Castle organised by the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Future of Work Conference).
Having spent the better part of this year researching the topic in the context of ‘digital transformation in Ireland’ it is clear that the shortage of skills and resources is without a doubt the biggest challenge facing Irish organisations as they seek to remain relevant in a digital world. In fact, the future of their (and our) entire existence depends on it.
In our research we found that only 45% of Irish companies have the right level and range of internal staff skills and external skills (agency, technology, contractor, consultant, specialist) to manage digital initiatives. According to the European Digital Progress 2017 Report this skills-gap trend is EU wide.
But it may come as a surprise to discover that Ireland actually ranks 19th out of the EU28 specifically for ‘Digital Skills in the Labour Force’. Further stats hammer home our weak position with only 1 in 5 Irish Companies ‘heavily digitised’ compared to the more ‘progressive’ countries such as Denmark who claim 1 in 2 of their companies as heavily digitised. We clearly have quite a journey to travel to rank with the ‘progressives’.
What to do? We need to get much better at anticipating the skills needs of future generations if we are going to move up the EU ranks and achieve long-term success for our national economy and our organisations, both public and private. We need to be able to successfully match our country’s skill supply to the needs of our evolving economy. Successfully reducing the existing mismatch of skills will require a tremendous effort both to anticipate requirements and to increase the responsiveness of education and training providers to meet those requirements. Public policy will be instrumental in driving this but we are all part of this ‘Future of Work” story and individually we can start to think about how we can take responsibility for our own skills development in an increasingly ‘digital’ world.
To download our Digital Transformation in Ireland 2017 Report please click here