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How Dynamics 365 Apprentices can address the growing digital skills gap

In early November 2016, Microsoft revealed an updated cloud platform that combines their previous ERP products (Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV) with Dynamics CRM. The released product, Dynamics 365, provides businesses with an evolving SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering that scales to support the client. Yet two years on from the release and businesses across Europe are facing a shortage of Microsoft Dynamics specialists (Maximus IT). The shortage of Dynamic 365 Specialists is a result of something that’s affecting most of the UK: a decrease in the level of digital skills. 

The digital gap is growing

A study by the British Chambers of Commerce found that 75% of UK businesses are suffering from a general lack of digital skills. Combine this with the fact the digital economy is growing 50% faster than the traditional economy and it’s not hard to understand why upskilling your workforce with IT skills is absolutely vital.

Businesses need to keep up with their surroundings, especially as “90% of all future jobs will require digital skills and… the UK will need more than 1.2 million new technical and digitally skilled people by 2022 to satisfy future skills needs” adds Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at BCS. Rather than search for remaining cloud skills, UK businesses need to actively introduce digital skills training if they seek to remain competitive in their industry.

All levels of the organisation are affected

It’s not just new staff that are the focus for skill development. As organisational logistics and client management constantly update on cloud platforms, there needs to be an emphasis on IT training at all levels of the organisation, not just for new starters. Training needs to be put in place to help tackle the digital skills gap: using your Apprenticeship Levy to introduce IT apprenticeships is a great solution.

A recent study for Barclays, at the end of last year, found that only 23% of workers aged 35 to 54 had the confidence to keep up with an increasingly technological working environment. The study also found a reoccurring mismatch between the demand for worker’s skills and what level of skill they actually possessed. Overall, 63% of jobs advertised required “above basic” digital skills while at the same time, over 43% of people believed they did not have these skills.

When addressing the results of the study, Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, responded “Where you live, how old you are, what you do and your education level have an impact on your digital abilities and confidence. Digital skills can boost finances and everyone deserves the opportunity to benefit.”

Training needs to be put in place to help tackle the digital skills gap: using your Apprenticeship Levy to introduce IT apprenticeships is a great solution. Firebrand’s digital apprenticeships are a great way to upskill new and existing staff to ensure your organisation remains competitive through technological change. 

Tackle the skills gap with Dynamics 365 

Large technology companies like Microsoft are redesigning the way organisations do business online. As the cloud adoption rate for the UK reaches above 88% (cloud industry forum), UK businesses are swapping localised platforms for SaaS cloud offerings.

Dynamics 365, one of the most popular complete cloud solutions, combines ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Consumer Relationship Management) to create a virtual platform that receives large updates annually. As an employer using Dynamics 365, you need to keep your workforce up-to-date with changes by introducing new digital skills. With Firebrand’s specific courses tailored to Dynamics 365 learning, you can upskill new and existing staff faster through Microsoft certified apprenticeships.

As an official Microsoft Partner, Firebrand can fill your digital skills gap fast. You will not only benefit from customised Dynamics 365 apprenticeship courses but accelerated training that schedules your apprentice on public courses alongside IT professionals.

Firebrand can help you spend your Levy effectively on Dynamics apprenticeships to keep up-to-date with cloud changes. Investing in apprenticeships will improve the operation of your CRM and ERP at all levels of the organisation. Choose any of Firebrand’s Microsoft-certified dynamics apprenticeships to begin closing your digital skills gap:

Microsoft Dynamics Infrastructure Technician