Almost half of jobs in Sheffield City Region 'under threat from rapid technological changes'

Almost half of jobs in the region are under threat from rapid technological changes but many workers don’t have the digital skills they need to keep up.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 12:25 pm

The UK has lower than average productivity levels than its international counterparts and Sheffield City Region lags behind with higher levels of unskilled and lower wage sectors.

Around 47 per cent of jobs in the City Region are under threat due to automation and low skilled roles are likely to bear the brunt of job losses.

More than 80 per cent of online job advertisements now require digital skills but workers who lack basic skills or need to upgrade them find it difficult.

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Barriers include unpredictable work patterns which prevent people from attending formal courses, lack of confidence, time constraints, funding for courses or simply knowing what the modern labour market needs and what’s available.

Small and medium-sized companies are also unlikely to have the resources to put into digital training.

Council officer Kevin Straughan said: “The thing we’ve realised over the pandemic is the absolute necessity for people to be capable of using digital skills both at home and in the workplace.

“But there are high levels of digital exclusion in all communities. Whilst there are lots of online courses available, the less digital skills you have, the less likely you are to engage in those courses successfully.

“A recent survey found 53 per cent of employees lack the digital skills they need for work and only 34 per cent report that employers give them the support they need to progress in the workplace.”

Sheffield Council is investing almost £1.3m to create flexible packages of learning to help individuals and organisations.

Mr Straughan added: “It will support a full range of skills that people may need from the very basic essential digital skills to level three skills in coding.

“We will also create a pathway so that people can move from those basic jobs to higher level skills in higher level jobs which are certainly going to be more secure as we move forward to the future.”