Lack of Skills Main Barrier to Civil Service Tech Adoption

Civil servants believe better information sharing across government will improve public services.

Civil servants believe better information sharing across government will improve public services, but a lack of skills is still the main barrier to adopting digital services.

The research was found in a survey by Trade Body Tech UK’s Public Services Board, which found a shortage of skills and capabilities to be the biggest problem when it comes to tech adoption across government. 

A report on the survey said: “A lack of knowledge or expertise is regarded as the largest barrier to greater technology adoption in government; 57% of respondents saw it as a problem, a proportion that has increased each year.”

A recommendation made by TechUK was to offer three-year placements in industry for civil servants already in technical roles.

The trade body believes this will allow civil servants to broaden their knowledge by seeing first-hand the cutting-edge innovation happening in the private sector, as well as providing industry with a way of developing a better understanding of the kind of problems the public sector is facing.

TechUK also recommends future civil servants get digital skills training as part of the government’s fast steam process.

Other barriers found in the survey include budget restrictions and working culture in departments.

Tech UK called on the government to continue to develop common standards and platforms “to remove siloes and make it easier to collaborate”. 

The report said: “Removing barriers to sharing Innovative work is done across the public sector and in partnership with industry, but it is often hard for knowledge, products and information to be shared between departments and organisations.”

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