Future growth requires generation Y to be engaged

One of the themes of the Microsoft Future Decoded event was the need for more education and support for the next generation of workers

More efforts have to be made to engage with the next generation of workers to avoid a digital skills crisis that could hamper the future prospects of firms to grow and for Britian to remain internationally competitive.

There are a lot of discussions about millennials and generation Y and the impact that they are having in both demanding the latest technology is used in the workplace, as well as the way they are starting to take positions in business units and buy IT in a way that the channel needs to be aware of.

But there are also worries that unless more efforts are made to encourage digital savvy youngsters into the modern workplace then the current generation of workers will not be able to cope with the changing demands that changes in digital technology are creating.

Speaking at the Microsoft Future Decoded conference, Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica UK, said that it estimated there would be a need for 750,000 more digitally skilled staff in the next five years, "for the UK to reach its full potential".

He added that millennials would account for 75% of the workforce by 2025 and not enough was being done to engage with them and there had to be a better digital education to ensure the right conditions for success were being established.

“It isn’t enough to expect the companies to roll-out infrastructure for us to become a leader in the digital world. We need leadership, creativity and education to give us the innovation and provide us with the opportunities in a digital world," he said.

He was followed onto the stage by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella who also spoke about the need for more digital education in his first UK speech as the firm's head honcho.

He argued that the investment made in science and technology education was one of the most strategic moves a country could make and applauded some of the recent moves to add more computer studies to the schools curriculum.

Last week the theme of millennials and changing workforces was also a topic at the CompTIA EMEA partner event in Westminster with the industry group's CEO Todd Thibodeaux claiming that half of the those running the channel could retire in the next eight years.

"The next generation is coming through and the channel has to be prepared for that and has to be speaking their language," he said.

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