The Digital Skills Gap and the role of PR

A piece published in HRreview earlier this year stated that on average, employee turnover rates have increased by 8.7 percent since 2019, and are estimated to increase further in 2023 with a predicted 35.6 percent turnover rate in the UK. 

These statistics come from HR firm, Remote, whose research also highlights that product and information technology are the business functions that had the highest employee turnover in 2022. 

Furthermore, according to, over eighty per cent of all jobs advertised in the UK now require digital skills. However employers say the lack of available talent is the single biggest factor holding back growth. What’s more, estimates suggest the digital skills gap could cost the UK economy as much as £63 billion a year in potential GDP. 

With businesses struggling to retain and hire new talent amidst the digital skills gap, the question is whether they should invest into the digital upskilling of their existing employees.

The opportunity

Over the past few years, the majority of UK businesses have undergone some sort of digital transformation initiative, which has introduced new technologies and tools and likely restructuring when it comes to roles, responsibilities, and jobs. However, the issue here is that despite these new technologies supporting things like automation, and efficiency, they can only take you so far.

Instead, businesses need to strike a balance between the types of technologies they’re bringing in, and having appropriately skilled employees to operate them and ensure the business is reaping all the benefits. However, with the digital skills gap ever-widening, will this ever be a reality?

Herein lies the opportunity for EdTech and corporate learning organisations to help to support upskilling and learning within businesses, helping them provide development pathways that benefit the employees while also enabling businesses to take advantage of its latest technological investments.   

As demand for EdTech and corporate learning support continues to climb, how can you ensure your business stands out as a solution to the problem?

Building trust and positioning yourself as a solution  

With a number of EdTech, e-learning and corporate learning brands out there, it’s hard not to just follow the crowd. Getting involved in broad industry discussions such as the issues around the skills gap, what businesses can do to function more efficiently in the digital era, as well as the best ways to upskill and retain staff is important. However, repeating what everyone in the industry is saying, isn’t going to get your brand noticed. 

Therefore, it’s good to think about what makes your company unique. What are you offering customers that others aren’t? And, how can you communicate that in a way that resonates with your target audience? 

If you don’t already have a PR strategy in place, the following steps are a good place to start.

Identify where you sit in the market

If you haven’t already, in the first instance, we’d always advise running a brand positioning and messaging exercise. One that maps out the competitive landscape, works out where you fit, and builds out a communication strategy that both demonstrates your strengths but also, fills the gap that others in the industry may not be. 

Third party advocacy

Secondly, once you have your messaging confirmed, it’s important to tailor that to each different audience. For example, if speaking to an IT audience, you’re likely to be able to delve into more technical subject matter, whereas if you’re speaking to a marketing audience, you need to be focused on tools and techniques that are applicable to their role. To take this one step further, having case studies within various sectors that demonstrate real examples of how businesses can use your offering and the results they garner are invaluable. What’s more, being able to share third-party validation with the media will go a long way in being recognised as a trusted brand.

Challenge current thinking

This comes back to standing out from the crowd. While your company may align with the messages being put out by your competitors, you’re unlikely to agree with everything. Being antagonistic isn’t something we’d advise, however sharing a different point of view on common trends or methods of corporate learning where applicable, is more likely to get you noticed. 

Think about business priorities

Outside of upskilling and development. Businesses both within the EdTech space as well as outside of it, are embracing matters such as accessibility, sustainability and security. In order to resonate with the values of your target audience, having a stance on all of those and being able to communicate how your business can support those goals beyond them being a tick box exercise is really important. 

If you would like to discuss how our team of experts can help your EdTech brand stand out from the crowd and build trust with your target audience, get in touch today.

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