47% of UK business feel their companies would work a lot better if their employees had better technology skills however only 19% are planning to increase their training budget this year for I.T. and digital skills, a survey has shown. Conducted by Barclay’s bank the survey questioned a range of national and local employers on how they viewed their current internal skillset and where they say the critical needs for employees and their capabilities in the future.

The survey revealed the winners are currently younger staff who have grown up with technology and are naturally more familiar with digital skills. 40% of employers said that they had chosen to elevate younger staff with digital skills over more veteran staff who would need training in areas like social media and software. 59% of staff unsurprisingly said, when asked about this, that they were afraid for their jobs and career progression against staff with established technology credentials.

Many employers now expect new staff to have a basic level of technological skill when they’re taken on including some knowledge of social media and software. The average digital training budget stands at £109 per year for each employee but despite this over a third of companies reported difficulty in implementing this training effectively with a widespread perception that older staff are unable or unwilling to take on the new skills the business requires. 45% of the companies asked said older employees were more difficult to train or slower to pick up tech skills citing some even lacking internet access at home.

Industry observers have expressed concern over showing uneven favour to digital skills over more traditional management experience. While technology will potentially be the most important area of growth for UK businesses in the future it could leave a ‘brain-drain’ in other areas like people and time management. Ideally a balance should be struck, and knowledge should flow between, the veteran, experienced staff and the newer influx of tech young-lings.

A lack of digital skills leaves a company lagging behind its more future-proof competitors and its own internal systems open to attack via naive or computer illiterate employees. Equally so a company that relies purely on computer skills will suffer when the unexpected occurs and it can’t be solved simply through Google. One group feeding their knowledge into the other, and vice versa, will create an ideal situation for business growth.