UPC backs new report highlighting the digital skills gap in Ireland

UPC urges more action on digitisation of Irish businesses

David Baker
by David Baker on 5th September, 2014

UPC Ireland’s chief executive Magnus Ternsjo has welcomed a report from the Digital Marketing Institute that highlights the gap in digital skills among Irish businesses.

The findings from the research suggest that a lack of digital skills in Irish businesses could have a negative effect on our economic recovery.

The DMI report also looks at Ireland’s digital future and the need to create a digital talent pool to drive the Irish internet economy forward.

This digitisation should provide economic growth opportunities and could create up to 150,000 new jobs, according to UPC Ireland.

The second UPC Report on Ireland’s Digital Future points to the take-off of the Irish internet economy – which directly employed 49,000 in 2012 – and plans for future growth.

Nearly 60% of businesses intend to recruit in the next 18 months according to the report, with a focus on digital skills being a key factor.

However, the report suggests that a quarter of Irish enterprises lack an online presence, while 47,000 small businesses could be missing out on digital opportunities despite having websites.

The value of Ireland’s internet economy is set to grow from its current level of €8.4 billion a year to an estimated €21.1bn by 2020.

That would equate to 10% of Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product, while 60% of the overall figure would be consumer-spending related, according to the UPC Ireland report.

Mr Ternsjo said that many Irish businesses needed to do more to fully take advantage of digitisation and the internet-based markets.

“Small businesses have a bright future here if they capitalise on existing demand for their products and services by using the web to reach out to potential customers,” he said.

“We need to encourage businesses who can substitute the imported flow of online purchased goods and who can offer significant online export potential in their own right.

He added that competitiveness was also important, as he suggested one third of Irish consumers feel they get “better quality, choice and value from retailers abroad”.

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