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DMA launches campaign to address skills & talent shortage

Melanie May | 12 July 2022 | News

A group of people in a white meeting room

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has launched a campaign aimed at addressing industrywide skills and talent shortages, professionalising the industry, and fueling future growth in the UK’s digital economy.

The DMA says that while direction, support and structure are the essential building blocks of a learning culture they are also often the main barriers to professional development. For that reason, it is advocating for ‘Micro-upskilling’ – the committing of as little as one hour a week per employee to structured e-learning and professional development.

The Open University’s Business Barometer 2022 found over three-quarters (78%) of organisations are seeing reduced output, profitability, or growth due to the impact of the current skills shortages.


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A recent DMA poll showed that 70% of professionals currently upskill less than an hour a week.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the DMA said:

“Our community needs to act now to help reduce creative, data and digital skills gaps and talent shortages seen across the UK’s digital economy. We want to futureproof the data-driven marketing industry and fuel economic growth by addressing the current skills crisis.


“A little and often mentality creates a habit that can fit around other responsibilities without damaging productivity – that’s important as technology evolves and professionals increasingly struggle to find the time to upskill. It can also allow skills acquisition in the short-term, while instilling a long-term learning habit that benefits the employee and employer.”

Business and government must invest in talent development

The DMA says businesses need to invest in talent and professional development, and that for upskilling to become more effective, leadership teams need to create a culture of continuous learning and give direction, support, and structure.

Other research highlighted by the DMA points to upskilling also being key for talent retention, with 32% of UK employees changing jobs in last 12 months because their employer didn’t offer upskilling or training opportunities.

Aldighieri commented:

“The DMA is working with our community to introduce micro-upskilling as a key element of membership, to help marketing personnel enhance their skillsets and drive responsible business growth. We believe micro-upskilling will help to expand the digital and data-driven marketing skills of the current workforce.”

The DMA is also calling for action from the Government.

Aldighieri added:

“We’d like the UK Government, supported by industry bodies like the DMA, to take a more proactive role in upskilling and reskilling the nation with core creative, data and digital skills. Utilising government and industry initiatives such as apprenticeship and retraining schemes. We want to drive responsible growth through the professionalisation of our industry.”