At the end of last year we blogged about our concerns of the digital divide’s impact on sport and physical activity – a risk of digital technology leaving some people behind because of a lack of access, connectivity and the skills needed to use it.
But that’s not to say we don’t value digital and the benefits that it can bring to our sector.
Following the recent release of UK Active’s Digital Futures 2022 report, we thought it timely to examine the state of digital skills in our sector.
Professor Stephen Hawking once said: “Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st Century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.”
We may not need to know every detail about coding, but I do believe that to run an organisation in the modern world digital skills are essential.
Digital skills, in this instance, cover the day-to-day use of systems and software as well as relevant pockets of advanced skills to design, innovate, and build end-to-end new products and services that will enable people to access and enjoy sport and physical activity.
How big is the digital skills gap in the workplace?
The UK Digital Strategy 2022 estimates that the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63 billion per year in gross domestic product and this gap is expected to widen.
Many businesses cite the talent shortage as the single biggest factor limiting growth, and I would say our sector is experiencing a similar challenge.