New Digital Skills Index from Salesforce Reveals 86% of Canadian Workers Feel Unequipped for the Future of Work

Small Business Canada

● Over three-quarters of respondents do not feel ready to operate in a digital-first world, with just 14% actively involved in digital skills training

● There is a major gap emerging between everyday digital skills and those needed for work, especially among younger workers

● Using collaboration technologies is viewed as the most important digital workplace skill for workers over the next five years

Toronto, February 8, 2022 – Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today published its Canadian Digital Skills Index revealing a growing digital skills crisis and the urgent need for action. The Index is based on Canadian workers reporting their readiness to acquire key digital skills.

Over three-quarters of Canadians (81%) don’t feel equipped to learn the digital skills needed by businesses now and even more (86%) don’t feel equipped for the future. Despite 73% of survey respondents planning to learn new skills in the next five years, only 14% are actively involved in digital skills learning and training programs now.

Canada’s digital skills gap
This gap is a concern – but it also presents an opportunity. With companies around the world rapidly transitioning to digital-first models, the demand for employees with digital skills has soared.

The Salesforce Index’s overall score for digital readiness, assessed in terms of preparedness, skill level, access, and active participation in digital upskilling, is currently only 23 out of 100 in Canada. The countries represented in the global survey ranged from 63 to 15, highlighting that while certain countries feel more digitally ready than others, there is an urgent need for global investment to close the digital skills gap and build a more inclusive workforce.

Everyday digital skills don’t translate to the workplace Everyday skills such as social media and web navigation don’t necessarily translate to the core workplace digital skills needed by business to drive recovery, resilience and growth.

More than half of all Gen Z respondents (58%) say they have ‘advanced’ social media skills — supporting the stereotype of digital mastery among the younger generation — but less than a quarter (17%) believe they have the ‘advanced’ digital workplace skills needed by businesses now.

Generational skills gap
However, the Salesforce Index also reveals that younger respondents have the greatest confidence and ambition to learn new skills — 17% of Gen Z is actively learning and training for skills needed over the next five years compared to 8% of Baby Boomers.

The most important digital skills needed by businesses today
According to the Salesforce Canada Index, skills in collaboration technology are viewed as the most important skills needed by businesses today and over the next five years. But despite respondents’ prowess with everyday collaboration technology like social media, only 19% of Canadians rate themselves ‘advanced’ in those collaboration technology skills needed specifically for the workplace.

Business has a critical role to play
Now more than ever, businesses have a responsibility to act to address the growing global skills gap. Salesforce is committed to investing in the future workforce through its diverse set of workforce development programs, including:

● Trailblazer Community, a global network of 15 million people across the Salesforce ecosystem who help each other learn new skills and succeed with Salesforce.
● Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform which has helped more than 3.9 million people skill up for the future of work.
● Pathfinder Training Program, a workforce development program that prepares individuals with the technical, business, and soft skills needed to pursue a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.
● Salesforce Military, which offers free online training classes and certification exams at no cost for active-duty military, veterans, and military spouses. Salesforce also connects participants with potential employers.
● Salesforce Talent Alliance, an initiative that connects Salesforce partner companies to job candidates trained on Salesforce through Trailhead and brings new talent into the fast-growing ecosystem.
● Trailblazer Connect, which helps people connect to mentorship and career opportunities through events and online resources.

Quotes on the News
“It is imperative that businesses today invest in reskilling their employees and communities to help them succeed in a digital-first world. We know this will be a critical driver of economic growth in Canada, ” said Margaret Stuart, Canada Country Manager, Salesforce. “At Salesforce, a core part of our purpose is to remove barriers and empower anyone to acquire the digital skills needed to build a fulfilling career now and in the future.”

“There’s a gap between the frontier of innovation and the skills necessary to use those innovations,” said Peter Schwartz, SVP, Strategic Planning and Chief Futures Officer, Salesforce. “That in itself, is not new. But what is new, is the scope of that innovation, how widespread it is, how it has diffused in every aspect of life. It is hard to do almost anything these days without some form of digital interaction.”

More information:

● Visit the Salesforce News & Insights Digital Skills Page
● View the 2022 Global Digital Skills Index Dashboard in Tableau
● Understand more about the Global Digital Skills Gap
● Learn more about Trailhead and the Trailblazer Community
● Tune into Salesforce’s new Trailblazer Series on Salesforce+

About Salesforce
Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

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