Britain 'needs 750,000 new digital jobs'

Report: Young people with IT skills are massively in demand - but the government needs to provide more support

The UK will need to train three quarters of a million 'digitally skilled' workers by 2017 to keep pace with the rest of the world, according to new research by O2.

This represents a substantial opportunity for young people, as the research suggests that one fifth of these jobs (between 169,000 and 182,000) will be ideally suited to the current generation of computer-savvy kids.

Speaking at Campus Party, one of the world’s largest technology festivals, Telefónica UK CEO Ronan Dunne said that 'digital offers the chance to drive sustained economic recovery'.

"This will only be realised if we become a nation of digitally confident businesses with a digitally literate workforce," he added. "The onus cannot be on the government alone. Businesses must proactively seek out opportunities to collaborate to maximise the digital growth opportunity and harness the potential of the next generation."

He called on the government and industry to properly harness the potential of these young 'digital natives'.

The report, which was conducted on behalf of O2 by Development Economics, makes three recommendations:

  • Greater collaboration between government and business to improve awareness of digital as a career path for young people.
  • Businesses and industry to increase support for the delivery of digital skills education in schools.
  • Backing from government and businesses to increase engagement in digital skills exchange programmes to encourage small businesses to better support and offer young people work experience.
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