The economic world is changing with unheard of impact and speed. How do people from different continents view this development? Do they consider their country’s reaction appropriate? How important is education in this matter – both at work and outside of it? The latest study ‘The Tech Divide – Industries and Employment’ offers answers to these questions. It is the second of the Vodafone Institute’s techno-logy acceptance publications, for which the polling organisation, Ipsos, surveyed 9000 people, as well as chosen experts, from nine countries. It is one of the first intercontinental studies on the acceptance of digitisation.
In international comparison, the degree of digitisation and the use of new technologies is considered most advanced in the USA, China and Sweden. Here, success stories of well-known Silicon Valley companies and leading Chinese businesses, respectively, play an important part. Sweden’s Spotify is one of the few disruptive European enterprises. The country‘s extensive digitisation since the late 90s, especially as a result of of the ‘PC reform’, has added to a positive impression of digitisation there. In other countries, comparable success stories receive less attention. Over 50 percent of respondents in Germany, India, Bulgaria and Italy think that there are not enough skilled professionals in the field of digitisation. Of the countries tested, India is considered the least digitised – although Indians themselves consider their country more advanced than Europe and China.
A majority of respondents are concerned about possible job losses due to digitisation. This worry is wide-spread in the United Kingdom (70 percent), Germany (65 percent) and the USA (66 percent). On the other hand, in Asia digitisation has in fact created new jobs.
The shortage of skilled workers is seen as a global problem. However, the degree of demand varies strongly in different countries: in China and Germany the shortage is felt most deeply, as over 50 percent of respondents state that there are not enough skilled professionals in the digitisation sector. Only 31 percent of the Swedish share this opinion. Education is conside-red key to overcoming many challenges. More than half of respondents state that personal digital skills must be improved.
Asian employers grant their staff considerably more time to improve their digital skills than employers in Europe and the USA: 40 percent of the Chinese can spend between one and five hours per week of their working time for training and 23 percent even more than five hours. In the United Kingdom, these figures are only 12 and 5 percent, respectively. In general, Euro-peans do not consider their employers as digitally advanced. Furthermore, training opportunities are con-sidered scarce compared to the USA, China and India.
The willingness to improve skills in one’s leisure time is also far greater in Asia. 50 percent of respondents in China and India are ready to spend between one and five hours per week on improving personal digital skills; 20 percent would invest even more time. In Sweden for example, these figures are 26 percent and
6 percent, respectively. Two-thirds of respondents state that lifelong learning will be a necessity in the future.
Online courses are used more frequently in Asia than the USA and Europe. Over one-third of respon-dents in China and India opt for them. This trend can be explained by the large absence of traditional education institutions along with a generally greater openness towards new technologies in these countries.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Tech Divide Contrasting Attitudes Towards Digitisation In Europe, Asia And The Usa