The Barclays Digital Development Index has found that the UK is lagging behind many other countries in terms of digital innovation and productivity.

The index, which benchmarks 10 countries in regards to their digital competitiveness and awards a 'digital empowerment’ score to each location, found that the UK took fourth place behind Estonia, South Korea and Sweden.

The report — which gathers its data from almost 10,000 working adults along with policy insights — highlighted a severe gap between the drive to boost digital engagement in the UK and a lack of confidence in digital skills amongst UK workers.

Ashok Vaswani, the chief executive of Barclays UK, said: "At a time when the UK is considering its future outside the European Union, we have to remember that competing in the digital economy isn’t simply a European question, it’s about a global race that will define how prosperous and successful we are for decades to come.

"With the referendum sending a clear message that too many parts of the UK do not feel they are sharing in the promise of global prosperity, now is the time to take everyone in society forward in the digital age."

The research also placed the UK in seventh place out of 10 in terms of IT coding skills and content creation, which are considered key elements to being a strong digital creator, rather than a mere digital consumer.

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