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Teens feel education not enhancing digital skills

Almost two-thirds (65%) of students do not believe the current curriculum is developing their digital skills for the workplace, according to research by management consultants Accenture.

The Digital Dream-Makers report is based on a survey of more than 5,000 people in the UK aged 12 and older. It suggests three-quarters of 'Digiteens' (those aged between 12- and 17-years-old) think digital technology will offer them more work opportunities in the future.

The main advantages young people see digital technology in the workplace offering are increases in flexibility (54%), productivity (51%) and creativity (48%).

Accenture digital managing director Nick Millman told HR magazine improving young people's digital skills is "in everybody's interests".

"Getting them excited and inspired by digital skills and careers can only be a force for good," he said. "But I wouldn't put responsibility wholly on either business, education or government. It's something all parties have to play their part in."

More than half (56%) of the respondents agreed that the role of employees will shift more towards instructing machines to carry out certain tasks in the workplace. But rather than seeing this as a negative change, the same number see this as giving people the opportunity to focus on more interesting tasks.

Millman welcomes the introduction of subjects such as coding into the curriculum to equip young people for the changing workplace, but warns it "may not be enough".

"It’s good news that young people feel optimistic about the opportunities digital offers, but the fact that they don’t feel they are being fully equipped is worrying," he explained. "After all, they are the next generation of our workforce and the future of British business is in their hands."