Digitally-literate young people are "at risk of losing out" on job opportunities due to the attitudes of employers, educators and parents, who are still stuck in “analogue" mode, according to Telefonica UK chief executive Ronan Dunne.
Speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London, Dunne said the UK needs 750,000 more digitally skilled workers in the next five years for it to reach its full digital potential, and many young people already have the work-relevant skills needed but are not currently in the workplace.
He added that millennials will make up 75 per cent of the UK workforce by 2025, but that businesses aren't doing enough to engage them.
“Digital literacy among our millennials is high, but in many cases our ambitions - reflected in our education system and by us as parents - are still analogue.
"Many of our most digitally literate in society are at risk of losing out as education and attitudes of employers change too slowly, while youth unemployment remains stubbornly high," he said.
He also stressed that onus should be on businesses to lobby for better digital education.
”The workplace is changing and we need leadership, creativity, and education to provide the UK with the entrepreneurs and digital skills to create possibilities with technologies."
Meanwhile he referred to mobile as the “oxygen” of modern life and we will one day look back and see this time as when we “went from BC to AD – before connectivity and after digital”.
As the UK and other countries globally begin to pull out of recession, it’s increasingly clear that future growth will be driven by the digital revolution.
“We are just at the start of the digital revolution, driven by innovation in social media, devices, and operating ecosystems, where the possibilities of the technology rather than technology itself will reshape ourselves.
“And the next wave of the digital revolution will be powered by mobile. After all connectivity is our oxygen.”