NEWS19 October 2023

RSS calls for data and statistics apprenticeships improvements

Data analytics News Public Sector UK Youth

UK – The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has called for data skills apprenticeships to be strengthened after a survey showed 60% of the UK public has no statistics or data analysis training.

Apprentice taking notes

The RSS said that a nationally representative survey of more than 2,000 people showed that one in 10 were aware of options for learning data analysis and 13% thought they had the statistical skills they need for their work.

The survey also found that 15% of respondents felt their job would be affected by changes in the way society uses data over the next five to 10 years, while 75% felt ill-equipped to adapt to the potential changes.

Four-fifths ( 79%) of those who felt they lacked statistical analysis skills required for their work were not aware of their options for further training.

The RSS said the skills system needed to support training from early education through to professional development for existing employees.

The Department for Education should also review the current online rating for apprenticeship providers, the RSS said, to improve the information available on provider quality, as well as improving information available on course content.

The RSS research had suggested that while apprentices were generally happy with the applicability of skills they were taught and knowledge of their tutors, they thought there was general disorganisation and difficulties accessing information and communications from providers of apprenticeship training.

Dr Sarah Cumbers, chief executive of the RSS, said: “Advances in how we use data are not just changing careers but transforming whole industries. It is therefore crucial that we have an education system that can deliver for both those starting their career and the existing workforce.

“Uptake of statistical training needs to improve if we are to meet employers’ demands for data skills, and prevent people being left behind. The best way to do this is to improve access to information provider quality and give people much needed support on how to navigate the statistics and data analysis training available to them.”