COVID-19 has really made us think about why a qualification in digital skills is so important.
The thing about nationwide crises is that they usually lead to a dramatic uptake in innovation. This is because when faced with such adversity, businesses have nothing to lose by experimenting with technology and new ideas in order to grow.
This is something that’s become very apparent with COVID-19 – some industries have faced catastrophic changes that may mean the way they do business is going to be dramatically different for the next few years, if not forever.
But I’m sure it won’t take you long to find a business that has actually benefited from a change to their strategy.
Take your local pub – are they selling loads more roasts on a sunday because they’ve adopted an online delivery service? Are the click and collect queues at your local favourite shop something to be admired? Is that business coach offering online courses now fully booked until 2021?
Some businesses who failed to adapt may never rebuild after this pandemic, which is a real loss for the industry, but if you’re an employee, it’s a loud, clear pre-warning sign.
Industries are changing. There was always a tide of technology slowly sweeping in, but COVID-19 brought that full force.
As an employee, it’s advisable to start making your skillset futureproof and adaptable, and this may involve getting a formal qualification in digital skills.
It doesn’t mean you need to totally retrain and change industry! It’s just a good idea, as in any career, to keep expanding your knowledge and always practice continuous professional development.
Don’t forget, if you’re currently looking for work, you’re likely to be eligible for our completely free, government-funded Digital Skills Level 2 qualification. Head over to our link to learn more, or give us a call on 01244 678100.
Let’s take a look at 3 industries that may be forever changed by digital –
Digital Skills in Retail
Let’s start with the obvious, retail in the 2020s is going to be drastically different to the past century.
Of course, we were all aware that online shopping was a threat to traditional retail, but the interesting thing is, according to the experts, the rise of online shopping vs. retail shopping has somewhat plateaued.
This has proven that there will always be a lot of us that love getting out for a day at the shops – it’s an experience. Furthermore, it’s not the younger generation that hate physical shopping either. On the contrary, millennials and Gen Z actually love to get out there and experience a product before they buy it.
That’s why we’re likely to see the highstreet change, but not in a way that you might expect. Rather than buildings going derelict, we’re likely to eventually see the rise of the ‘experience store’.
An experience store is exactly what it says on the tin. Think about an Apple store – you can go in, become immersed in the brand, play with the products, get some expert advice. Things you can’t always get online.
There’s also a trial John Lewis experience store, in this building shoppers are able to book on to culinary workshops in order to learn to use products, book personal shopping experiences and attend craft lessons. What’s the other benefit of this? The ‘gram of course.
Social media is a huge influence on our lives, and shops know it. They want to create gorgeous, interactive experiences that cause hype when shoppers share them online.
This is why we believe retail stores will crave employees with digital skills. If you’re confident creating awesome, viral content on social media for your workplace, or you can adeptly manage a fancy new EPOS system that also deals with online, instant click and collect orders, then you’re already ahead of the pack.
Digital Skills in Hospitality and Catering
During lockdown, pubs and restaurants had to close, but many switched to a delivery or collection model. Even some cocktail bars and pubs started offering takeaway drinks and pre-mixed cocktails.
These models all require a modicum of digital skills, whether it’s as simple as taking a great social media photo or video to promote a product, or building a basic website with an online ordering system.
The other side of the coin presented challenges to this industry too – when pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen, they were inundated with customers.
This led to widespread adoption of digital ordering systems, as they significantly reduce the pressure on staff. Just take a look at Wetherspoons’ app, where customers can order in advance or from their table. Yo Sushi has also released a similar system recently, and their sushi conveyor belt will now deliver food directly to your table!
With these innovations, it’s easy to see why employers will soon be looking to ensure they’ve hired someone tech literate, who can manage digital ordering systems easily.
Warehouse, Manufacturing and Logistics
Previously the warehouse, logistics and manufacturing industries were somewhat notorious for not investing in staff training. They benefited for a long time from cheap agency labour – but things are about to change, in a way that may actually benefit their employees.
Consumer demand has certain expectations in this day and age. They want rapid turnaround, customisable products and next day, or sometimes even same day, delivery.
This means manufacturing and warehouse facilities are going to increasingly need to adopt more technology.
This could mean using a digital tablet to run stock takes, using a digital interface on a truck to direct you around the warehouse efficiently, or using heatmaps and camera technology to improve safety on the warehouse floor.
Many of these innovations are already in place at the DHL and Amazon warehouses, so it’s likely the industry will head in that direction.
The technology revolution could even filter down to delivery drivers! Many are already using digital scanners and route planners, but some may even need to turn their hand toward becoming drone pilots soon!
Staff will need to have some intuition when it comes to using these systems, and basic IT literacy will be a big step in the right direction.
What other industries do you think will be most affected by the digital skills revolution in the next ten years? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!