STL Skills Survey: UK Businesses Display IT Skills Gap

Employees in the UK are struggling to deal with a major IT skills gap, with the average UK office worker spending more than half an hour a day struggling to figure out how to work their tech or IT systems.

For most office workers in the United Kingdom, dealing with things like spreadsheets, presentations and word documents are considered normal, everyday tasks.

Yet, a new national survey by STL has found that a significant number of employees are seriously struggling with their IT systems.

What our survey revealed

In a survey* of 2,000 UK office workers, STL found that more than a third of respondents believe their lack of IT skills prevent them from doing their job effectively.

Half of UK office workers admit to being unable to fully understand tools like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word, with spreadsheets and presentations cited as being the most problematic.

Excel training
Excel training

Astonishingly, office workers are losing over 10 hours per month struggling to operate their IT systems, meaning UK employees are losing over £1,600 per employee, per year, based on the average office worker salary.

With an estimated 10 million office workers in the United Kingdom, that means businesses are wasting a staggering £16 billion per year due to a basic IT skills gap.

Despite the clear gap in skills, our survey found that workers are reluctant to get help from their IT department.

42% of respondents said that embarrassment stops them asking for help, with many worrying that their query would be thought of as ‘basic’. Instead, many workers turn to colleagues:

For others, the Internet and even family and friends are a preferred option for getting assistance with basic IT tasks:

excel training courses

Excel frustration

When they do choose to ask for help, the most common source of frustration is Microsoft Excel:

A reluctance to admit to a gap in IT skills appears to be a common problem amongst UK employees.

With nearly one in five opting to ‘bluff’ their way through common tasks or questions from colleagues (including giving a colleague spreadsheet advice, hosting a meeting using documents and giving a PowerPoint presentation).

Employers can do more

Our research also found that office workers are aware of the IT skills gap, and that many feel that their employers need to improve their training to help address the problem.

A third of those polled directly blamed their employer for not offering them enough support in using computer applications, and more than half of UK office workers felt they would benefit from proper training in Microsoft Office.

Effective training would not only help to make office workers more productive and efficient, but 47% of respondents also felt it would improve their levels of motivation at work.

At STL we seek to provide an unrivalled value and quality service, enabled by our strong working culture. Our 500+ courses deliver learning solutions across leadership and management training and Microsoft Office applications (including Excel) .

We help our customers to address some of the most critical aspects of the real economy, by improving productivity and efficiency. We have instructor-led London training centres and also deliver across the UK, EEC/Abroad (95+ countries)

*Our data comes from an MRS-compliant, nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK office workers who regularly use a computer. The survey was carried out on behalf of STL in February 2020.

30 Reasons You Should Be Considering Power BI – Part 2

A lot of people out there think that the story of Power BI is too good to be true.
Here is a list of the reasons that wE think you should consider Power BI as a self-service and/or Enterprise Business Intelligence Solution.


Power BI has mobile apps

Microsoft have released mobile applications that are free for Windows, Apple and Android.

You can subscribe via email

Most of us would like a static report to appear in our inbox every morning when we power up. All you need to go is to your report tab, click ‘subscribe via email’ and each day you will receive a nicely formatted PDF ready for printing. However these reports are so much better when you have full interactivity.

Power BI can be embedded into your own custom apps

When working from the ground up, you’ll always have the option of designing your own architecture around it. So if you want to build your own website and set user access via your own logon credentials, then that will not be an issue for Microsoft.

Strategic decision making
Microsoft Power BI training
Power BI is extremely competitively priced

It’s free to try for as long as you want, however, If you want to take advantage of all the enterprise features such as automatic refreshes, controlled sharing of data, then all you’ll have to pay is a whole $9.99 per month.

Power BI is easy to use and cheap to train users

It’s intuitive and easy to learn for most users. The training costs are low and learner adoption is rapid making the total cost of ownership quite a compelling case.

Power BI has a modelling engine that power users can learn

Power BI is subsequently enabling a culture of self service which is breeding a new generation of ‘developers’ who use the Vertipaq engine. Power BI uses a language called DAX, this is a functional language that can be learned by excel professionals

Power BI has data loading tools that power users can learn

Power query is so easy to use, it’s almost embarrassing to the skilled developers out there.

Power BI is self-service BI

Power BI is self service BI personified. Any competent excel user can learn and use these tools allowing them to become semi self-sufficient in their analytics and reporting.

Except when it is not self-service BI

Power BI has the foundations strengths of an enterprise strength tool whilst being simultaneously a self-service capable tool all at once.

Power BI has got consolidation dashboards

Power BI is amongst other things a data source aggregator – it doesn’t matter where the data originates from – all you have to do is to click on the link, graph, bar to view the information.

Learn more…

Power BI is an example of one of the many technical and professional development courses we offer at STL – check out our course finder to learn more. Alongside the technical skills needed to produce Power BI reports, you may also consider attending core soft skills like our presentation training, which can help make detailed reports more engaging and interesting to the audience.