Bridging the Digital Divide: the extent of digital skills gaps

With the pace of digital development rapidly accelerating, many organisations are currently considering how they can address digital skills shortages.

The Open University’s 2019 Bridging the Digital Divide report highlights the extent of digital skills gaps and the impact they are having on organisations and their employees.

skills digital divide

Currently, nine in 10 (88%) organisations admit they have a shortage of digital skills, which is already having a significant negative impact on productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

Solutions to the skills shortage

The Open University is currently working with organisations and the government to support them in overcoming skills gaps in the workforce, and wider labour market, by developing high-quality apprenticeships and flexible degree programmes that meet their needs.

Many organisations are starting to see the benefits of lifelong learning when it comes to digital skills.

The majority (85%) of senior leaders agree that it will become necessary to move to a model of lifelong learning in future, where employees are constantly developing and building new skills.

The new report attempts to identify some solutions that can help organisations to build strategies for coping with the unpredictable and shifting needs of the digital economy. 


The Open University offers a range of Degree and Higher Apprenticeships in England, Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland and a BSc Applied Software Engineering Apprenticeship in Wales, to suit your organisation’s current and future needs.

Levy paying employers can use the funds in the apprenticeship service accounts to support apprenticeship training and assessment, with a 10 per cent top up from the government.

Non-levy paying employers can access apprenticeships via co-investment, where the government will pay 95 per cent of the costs of training up to the funding band maximum.

Read the report in full here.

See how we can help your business with skills and labour force here.