Dutch Study Shows: Workers’ Lack of ICT Skills Can Contribute to a Productivity Loss of up to €19.3 Billion per Year
Computers have become indispensable at work and the efficient use of new technologies is vital for economic growth, productivity and innovation. However, a study of the Dutch university Twente shows, that lack of ICT skills at work lead to a substantial productivity loss and thereby to costs for employers of up to 19.3 billion Euros per year.
Workers spend an average of six hours per day at the computer according to this study. Half an hour of this time is lost every day through ICT problems and lack of ICT user skills. The latter can mean an individual’s own lack of knowledge or the time s/he spends helping a colleague with ICT problems. These statistics are valid for all age groups, jobs and both genders. People with a lower education lose slightly more time, the time loss increasing from an average of 7 % to 10 % for this group. At least half of this time could be gained by determining employees’ weaknesses and offering ICT training based on this knowledge. In addition, the study reports that participants overestimated their own ICT skills. This is illustrated by the fact, that many employees had not taken part in any training in the previous three years on the grounds that they did not need this.
Therefore one recommendation given in the study report is to determine any gaps in the employees’ knowledge and the weaknesses of the hard- and software in use, as well as investing in ICT training and the corresponding certification, that is in structured training rather than informal help between colleagues. The certification guarantees the effectiveness of the training.
Read the ECDL Foundation press release here.
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