Mendix today released the results of “Low-Code Forecasts 2021,” a report that shows more than 15.5 million British workers are interested in learning digital skills and playing a part in the digital transformation of their organizations.

The survey also reveals that a majority of British workers are interested in learning about low-code and that “these findings highlight how British companies can respond to the UK's growing digital skills gap driven by COVID and Brexit, and how low-code software development skills can bridge this divide.”

Wikipedia defines low code as a “development environment used to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming. A low-code model enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications using a visual user interface in combination with model-driven logic.”

Gartner forecasts that "by 2024 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives."

COVID-19, a Mendix release stated, “has accelerated the digital transformation of organizations in the U.K., with many adopting remote working practises overnight.

“This has made digital skills a highly-valued commodity for businesses - and U.K. workers understand this. Close to three-quarters of workers surveyed say that they are interested in learning more digital skills (72%), with 60% wanting to put those skills to use by supporting their organization's digitalization.

“The most common ways that workers see themselves supporting digital transformation is by working with the IT team to make project implementation more successful (45%) and helping the IT team better understand everyday business challenges (37%).”

Findings revealed that the pandemic has also accelerated the need for software development to a pace that organizations are struggling to keep up with: “The survey highlights that U.K. employees are hungry to get involved with their organizations' software development and are keen to learn new skills, such as creating their own applications.

“Almost three quarters (72%) of workers want to learn new digital skills and nearly half (49%) would like to build apps that would help them succeed in their work. Despite this interest, only 6% of workers are actually learning software development.”

To bridge this gap, Mendix noted, “British workers are now turning their attention to low-code software development platforms, with two-thirds (66%) stating that they would like to learn model-driven low-code.

“Motivated by a strong appetite for app development, the large talent pool of 15.5 million potential low coders within the UK's full-time workforce would enable businesses to tackle the talent crunch they are facing in light of COVID and Brexit.”

This trend is impacting three-fifths of British companies according to the study: “This provides a great opportunity for the U.K. economy, as low-code software development enables those without any coding experience to build applications. Low-code platforms provide companies with a visual, drag-and-drop approach that empowers non-technical staff to design these critical applications, in collaboration with and under the supervision of IT.”

Nick Ford, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Mendix, said the “COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, putting a massive strain on IT departments. This research shows that there is a large pool of untapped potential among U.K. employees that want to contribute to the digitization of their organizations and help alleviate the pressure on IT.

“With low-code, companies can unlock this potential without losing sight of important issues such as security and governance. It provides a single, collaborative platform that enables anyone, regardless of developer background or expertise, to get involved in building business applications. This serves to speed up the entire app development process, spurring innovation while also helping employees build their digital skills by learning from one another.”