Dunne appeals to businesses to let youth fill digital skills gap


Operator’s research reveals business leaders believe digital channels are key to their future but few are willing to employ first-jobbers

O2 CEO Ronan Dunne has appealed to businesses to take on young people to fill the digital skills gap, which research commissioned by the operator has revealed.

The survey of 400 businesses showed bosses believe a fifth of their growth over the next three years will come from digital channels and three-quarters acknowledge young people have these skills ‘in abundance’ but less than a quarter were willing to offer a first job to a young person.

Commenting on the results, Dunne said: “There are more than a million young people out of work. It’s a travesty that whilst businesses are crying out for digital skills, they are excluding from the workplace the very people who have them.

“Now is the time when thousands of young people will be deciding what to do next. We want to encourage them to make the most of the fact that they have grown up in a digital world and be confident in the value of their skills to prospective employers.

“Businesses need to recognise the value that young people can bring – they are the future fuel of the economy and have the skills we need to help pull us out of recession.”