Digital know-how most important thing for students, says Richard Branson

Students are not consulted enough on how digital skills are taught at school, says Richard Branson during Digital Youth Council visit

Digital know-how is one of the most valuable things a student will take with them when leaving school, but pupils are not being consulted enough by the government on how such skills are taught, according to Richard Branson (pictured), who recently met with the Virgin Media Business Digital Youth Council.

The council, which is made up of eight students, was selected by Virgin Media Business in November 2014 and aims to change the way technology is being used in the classroom.

The council takes part in debates with the Department of Education and other influencers to express how technology can shape young peoples’ futures.

The initiative was created as part of a nationwide review named Generation Tech, which aims to investigate the role technology is playing in education.

“Britain is a digital leader, however our businesses will fall behind if students leave school without vital digital skills," said Branson. "Much is being done by the government to address this, but we need to make sure that the views of tech-savvy pupils aren’t overlooked.

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“The Digital Youth Council is a great example of how we can harness the skills and views of young people and create the digitally savvy entrepreneurs of the future.”

The members of the council were presented with certificates from Branson to recognise their contribution.

Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly said in its first three months, the council has spoken out on key issues, designed digital innovations and developed recommendations for the government.

“As a major player within education, we hope others in the sector will sit up and take note of its conclusions, recognising that they speak for students in classrooms around the country,” he said.

The members of the council also met to develop the Big Ask, an initiative by Virgin Media Business which aims to encourage the government and business to prepare students for the world of digitally driven business. 

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