Chief Data Officer, Telefonica.
The digital skills agenda is in vogue and much is being done across the UK to encourage young people to realise their potential – something O2 has also built its heritage on. The arrival of computing on the curriculum in schools shows that the importance of digital skills is being recognised. But we’ve still got a way to go if we are to create the conditions that will deliver a prosperous future for young people and ultimately the UK.
That’s why I’m delighted to welcome this report from the UK Digital Skills Taskforce. This impressive cross-sector review highlights key recommendations to support the digital skills eco-system across the UK, including embedding digital skills within the education system, supporting digital innovation in the third sector and championing the role of business in supporting early digital careers and workforce development.
At O2, we believe that the possibilities of technology should be open to everyone, and we’re working hard to make this vision a reality. Our Think Big programme is supporting thousands of young people to develop enterprise, creativity, business and digital skills which are enabling them to participate in and shape the emerging digital economy. We’re also building the digital confidence of parents as a young person’s primary educator and support network. And we are working with small businesses and large enterprises to confidently map a truly digital way of operating.
This report underlines the need for collective action to shift perception, build confidence and demonstrate the value of collectively nurturing a truly digital generation. Failing to do so will result in us choking our own potential, failing our young people and stifling economic growth. The key recommendations outlined in the report are feasible and practical, and I encourage policy makers, educators and business decision makers to give it serious consideration.