Australian workforce not ready for technology shift: SAP

A new study has revealed that less than half of Australian employees are receiving training on improving their analytic skills and knowledge around the cloud.

There's a looming talent crisis in Australia as workplaces continue to shift towards managing a more international, diverse, and mobile workforce, according to the Workforce 2020 report.

The global research by Oxford Economics, supported by SAP, found that less than 46 percent of Australian employees are receiving "ample" training on workplace technology, and only 26 percent get access to the latest technology, indicating that businesses are unprepared for the growing need for technology skills.

Meanwhile, 61 percent of Australian executives say their company widely offers supplemental training programs, but only 43 percent of employees say their company provides the right tools to help them improve and grow.

The report also showed that as the digital business world continues to flourish, the need for analytic skills will also grow by 135 percent. Currently, 39 percent of employees expect to be proficient in this field in three years, while just 15 percent meet this standard today.

In fact, two thirds of Australian businesses continue to use quantifiable metrics and benchmarking for workforce development. However, 32 percent find it difficult to turn these metrics into insightful information, versus the 42 percent of global businesses that have the ability to extract meaningful data from them.

Similarly, the skills needed for cloud will grow by 88 percent. At the moment, only 15 percent of employees said they have the right skills for it, but this is expected to improve to 29 percent in three years.

The report also found some trends coming out of Australian businesses that go against the grain of the global workforce. According to the research, 66 percent of Australian businesses say that workforce issues drive strategy at the board level, compared to 52 percent globally, and 35 percent in North America.

"What we see from this research is a significant gap between business preparation and business requirements when it comes to skills, benefits, and training to meet the needs of both the organisation and the employees over the next six years," said Andrew Barkla, SAP Australia and New Zealand president and managing director.

"The Australian market in particular appears to be disconnected when it comes to management concerns and leadership, as well as training and education to bring businesses even further into the digital world."

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