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November 11, 2019

CIMA research finds UK workers apathetic to learning new skills

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) remains apathetic towards learning new skills despite automation and new technologies putting jobs at risk.

According to CIMA’s ‘Mind the Skills Gap’ research, 37% of British workers said they do not feel the need to learn new skills. At the same time, nearly half of the respondents (49%) said they believe any portion of their role could be automated in the future, up from 38% in 2018.

The research indicated a ‘growing appreciation’ of the need to integrate with technology and be agile, as 26% of workers said they think working seamlessly with new technologies will be one of the most important skills.

However, the number of workers wanting to learn digital skills fell in 2018 from 27% to 23% in 2019. Instead, the percentage of workers interested in learning soft skills, such as critical thinking, communications and problem-solving, rose from 23% in 2018 to 29% this year.

CIMA chief executive of management accounting Andrew Harding said: “This is the second year we’ve run this research and it continues to show there’s an apathy towards learning new skills and, more worryingly, a lack of desire to learn digital skills.

“The UK’s goal to be a leading digital economy cannot be met if the capabilities of its workforce aren’t up to scratch. Attitudes to learning and reskilling need to change — employees, employers and policy-makers need to embrace the philosophy of learning, unlearning and relearning to support growth. A positive approach here will have a positive impact on UK productivity and economic growth.”

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