LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will face a growing skills shortage over the next decade if it does not start retraining and re-qualifying workers for the transition to a digital economy that has been accelerated by the COVID pandemic -19, according to a McKinsey report on Monday.
The consultants said their analysis showed that 94% of the workforce lacked the skills they will need in 2030.
The pandemic had polarized the labor market with some skills already in short supply, such as those needed in e-commerce and supply chain analysis, while low-skilled jobs lost during the crisis were unlikely to return, according to the report.
Among the jobs most at risk are sales positions, sales people, receptionists and waiters, traditionally held by part-time staff and often by younger workers.
“Without concerted action by employers, two-thirds of the UK workforce could lack basic digital skills by 2030, while more than 10 million people could be underqualified in leadership, communication and in decision-making, ”the report says.
Britain has long struggled with low levels of productivity, with particularly poor output among the lowest paying jobs, in part due to a lack of training.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in October that participation in lifelong learning was above the European average but had declined in recent years and that on-the-job training had declined since 2008 financial crisis.
The UK economy has been hit hard by the pandemic. Gross domestic product plunged 20% in the second quarter.
Martin Sorrell, one of Britain’s best-known leaders, said last week that Britain could take five to ten years to recover properly as the financial blow will undermine the firepower economy which it needs to rebuild for Brexit.
Reporting by Kate Holton; Edited by William Schomberg