Retailers should hire more staff with extensive digital expertise, UKCES suggests
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has urged retailers to hire digitally-skilled staff in order to tackle a forthcoming productivity fall, a recent news report has been able to reveal.
The organization’s report suggests that as retail becomes increasingly digitalised, a completely different workforce expertise is required to keep pace with this trend.
It also revealed that employers in retail are failing to attract more employees with high-tech skills because they don’t see the sector as a good career prospect.
UKCES said employers were also finding it difficult to recruit people with customer service skills and that existing staff also needed more training. In the 2013 UKCES Employer Skills Survey, 55 per cent of retailers with skills gaps identified customer service abilities as a challenge, compared to 47 per cent across all industries.
As well as attracting more candidates with desirable skill sets, the report urged employers to develop existing workers. The 2013 Employer Skills Survey found that 61 per cent of retailers provided their staff with some form of training, which is slightly below the UK average of 66 per cent of employers.
“The wholesale and retail sector is the largest sector in the UK economy by employment, but sector productivity is relatively low,” said Dr Vicki Belt, assistant director at UKCES. “There is scope to improve productivity by making full use of existing talent and ensuring that workers have the opportunity to build their skills and experience, and progress within the sector.”
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