Unemployed teenagers blame lack of computer skills
March 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Almost one-in-five young people not in education, employment or training (Neets) believe their computer skills are not good enough for the job they want to do.
A similar number (17 per cent) said they believed they would be in work if they could use a computer better, while one-in-ten are “embarrassed” by their lack of computer skills, according to a poll by the Prince’s Trust.
The figures follow Michael Gove’s announcement earlier this year that Computer Science will be added to the English Baccalaureate – a small group of approved academic subjects used as a key indicator in school league tables – in order to help plug the computer skills gap among young people.
Top technology firms including Facebook have also been asked to help design a new computer science training course for teachers.
The Prince’s Trust poll asked more than 1,300 British 15 to 25 year-olds – including 265 Neets – about their computer skills.
It found that about one-in-four (24 per cent) said they dreaded filling in online job application forms. More than one-in-10 (11 per cent) of the Neets questioned said they avoid using computers.
The survey was published to mark the launch of a new Prince’s Trust scheme designed to engage schoolchildren with science and technology. Under the initiative, staff from the Science Museum will visit Prince’s Trust clubs in schools to work with young people who are at risk of exclusion or underachieving.
Prince’s Trust chief executive Martina Milburn said: “A lack of computer literacy can hold young people back and this is damaging their job prospects. Without basic computer skills, young people will not be able to pursue career paths and passions because they can’t get a foot in the door.
“With youth unemployment on the rise again, we need to arm our young people with the skills they need in today’s tough jobs market. Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills are a crucial part of this.”
The scheme follows a £500,000 donation to the Trust last year by musician will.i.am.
Will.i.am said: “Inspiring young people through science and technology is a powerful tool and I am proud to see my donation to the Prince’s Trust being put into action to help engage disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have access to technology and science education.
“These workshops are an amazing way to engage disadvantaged youngsters who don’t have this sort of access to technology and science otherwise.”