March 2013

Digital literacy survey 2013

Lack of computer skills is damaging young people's job chances, warns research from The Prince's Trust.

Download the Digital Literacy Survey Executive SummaryOne in 10 unemployed young people (10%) cannot send their CV online, while more than one in six (17%) believe they would be in work today if they had better computer skills, reveals a Prince's Trust report out today, the 12th March.

A quarter of unemployed young people "dread" filling in online job applications and one in 10 admit they avoid using computers.

The Prince’s Trust research, based on interviews with 1,378 15 to 25 year-olds in Great Britain, reveals how more than one in 10 young people (12%) do not think their computer skills are good enough to use in the job they want, while almost one in five unemployed young people (18%) claim to feel this way.

The report follows an announcement by musician and philanthropist will.i.am at the Science Museum in London, which outlined a new Prince’s Trust scheme to engage young people in schools with science and technology.

The project, in partnership with the Science Museum, comes after will.i.am's £500,000 donation to The Prince's Trust last year to inspire disadvantaged young people in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

10% of Neets feel out of their depth using a computerOne in ten unemployed youngsters (10%) are embarrassed by their lack of computer skills, while more than one in six (17%) admit they do not apply for jobs which require basic computer skills.

Martina Milburn, The Prince’s Trust Chief Executive 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 skills are a crucial part of this.

The Trust's new partnership with the Science Museum will see outreach staff from the Museum going into Prince’s Trust xl clubs in schools to work with young people at risk of exclusion and under-achievement.

Martina Milburn added:

"We work with the hardest-to-reach pupils, who may not have access to a computer at home and often don't have basic IT skills. The Trust is using will.i.am's generous donation to engage these young people in science and technology while they're still at school.

"We're also giving young people more access to IT to support them into work and helping more unemployed young people set up technology-related businesses. The donation from will.i.am is transforming how we help young people in all these areas."

The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI, shows how more than one in three jobless (35 per cent) "rarely" or "never" look for jobs online, while one in 10 feels “out of their depth” using a computer.

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.

He continued, "These workshops are an amazing way to engage disadvantaged youngsters who don’t have this sort of access to technology and science otherwise.

“Today I have met with young people who are being supported by The Trust to improve their digital skills or seek to make their living through STEM related subjects. Through this new initiative, we will connect many more disadvantaged youngsters to the worlds of computing and science and technology."

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Dave's story

Dave left school with few qualifications but dreamed of working with computers. After struggling to fulfil his dreams, The Trust helped him turn his own business ideas into a viable enterprise.

Find out how Dave turned his life around

Craig Bland

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