Ineffective training means tech investment wasted – Personnel Today

Despite thousands invested in technology training, employees lack the skills to use them

Companies have increased investment in technology during the pandemic but ineffective training means they’re not getting the best out of it, a survey has found.

CWJobs’ survey of UK businesses found that almost three-quarters have increased overall investment in technology tools, with an average of £1.48 million spent in 2020, up by around £400,000 compared to the year before.

However, only 27% of IT decision-makers are satisfied with their employees’ abilities to use the tools.

Only 9% have trained staff to fully use all of the new technology they have invested in, including collaboration tools such as Slack and Teams, VPNs and cloud platforms – all of which have boomed in popularity since the shift to remote working.

The job site’s Tackling Tech Training report found that two-thirds increased their spend on technology hiring in 2020, and the same proportion increased technology training budgets.

The most notable gap in training was in analytics tools: fewer than 4% of companies felt they had fully trained staff on these tools. Only 8% were confident they had trained staff in software platforms, and 8% cloud infrastructures.

One of the challenges cited by organisations was finding time to fit in training. A quarter said there was hesitance from both workers and superiors to make time for learning.

Furthermore, a third said they struggled to deliver remote training sessions, and 31% found it difficult to keep staff engaged. Sixty-three per cent plan to review their technology training strategies this year in response.

Despite struggling to bridge the gap between tech investment and skills delivery, most respondents acknowledged they needed to do more. Fifty-seven per cent felt Brexit would widen the tech skills gap in the UK and impact the flow of talent from the EU.

Almost six in 10 (58%) said the pandemic had put more pressure on them to hire tech talent. To address this, organisations are looking to upskill internally, reskilling existing employees, and bring in staff in at entry level.

Dominic Harvey, director at CWJobs said: “Technology is only ever as effective as the employees that use it, and whilst it’s encouraging that training budgets are surging, our findings show that these budgets aren’t being spent effectively.

“It is imperative that employers find creative ways to navigate the challenges of remote training and engage their workers to avoid their investments going to waste, as well as close the tech talent gap. A fully-trained, empowered workforce will ensure these digital investments deliver great results for years to come.”

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