Digital skills gap widening, Brexit making things worse

It's getting harder to attract non-British, European talent on the island.

A new report by BIMA, the digital agency membership association and digital agency SapientNitro, has shed new light on the digital skills gap in the UK. The conclusion is – it’s not good, and Brexit is only going to make it worse. Out of 272 digital agencies which were polled for this report, almost half (47 per cent) said they believe finding non-British talent to work in their company will now be much harder. 

Pretty much every polled organisation (90 per cent) said it has lost at least one non-British European employee, and 18 per cent of companies stated only white people work there  Besides the skills gap, there’s also the dreaded gender gap – just six per cent of digital agencies in the UK have more than 50 per cent of female employees. Current openings are hard to fill, the respondents have said, with each digital agency having 3.5 unfilled vacancies, on average. It takes a company approximately eight weeks to find the right person for each of these vacancies.  In the last year, 46 per cent of organisations have invited graduates, 42 per cent paid interns, 42 per cent school students and 38 per cent have provided mentoring. 

Nigel Vaz, CEO EMEA for SapientNitro and Razorfish, said: “The skills gap is one that is challenging the digital industry, with thousands of desirable positions going unfilled across the country. As companies address the challenge of reimagining their business for a digital age, this skills gap is both damaging to the growth of British industry, and means that many talented people are missing out on rewarding jobs due to a lack of modern skills.” 

The two companies have taken the opportunity to draw attention to BIMA’s Digital Day, taking place November 15 2016. Professionals from various digital agencies and brands will be hosting digital challenges in secondary schools from all backgrounds across the UK.

Image Credit: D Smith / Flickr