Businesses must embrace tech to attract young workers

Young people in Britain have the skills to make a world leading knowledge economy, but only if employers let them, according to research released today by solutions provider Logicalis.

The survey found that 81 per cent of the 13-17-year-olds surveyed have already considered their work-life balance, and 11 per cent said they would quit if their boss asked them to hold work above their family.

This group of people born after 1990, the so-called Realtime Generation, have essentially grown up with the internet and the tools that come with it, and expect to use them at work, the research noted. Over 90 per cent use an instant messaging application at least once a week, and 55 per cent expect to use the tool at work. And some 87 per cent of the survey's respondents claimed membership of an online community, with a third publishing their own blog.

Indeed, British youngsters' personal internet use exceeds that of young people in the US. But Tom Kelly, managing director of Logicalis UK, said the UK must ensure it continues to invest in the knowledge economy to keep up with competitors in the US or Asia.

"Gordon Brown recently re-emphasised the importance of realising the talents of all our people, in his vision of Britain as the great global success story of the century," said Kelly. "But the UK's ability to maintain its position as a leading knowledge economy over the next 20 years will depend on how we act now. In an increasingly global market, the future of our economy will be defined by whether a 13-year-old in Bolton can compete for that knowledge economy job, against a 13-year-old in Bangladesh or Beijing."

Logicalis called on businesses to become more technologically aware and embrace flexible working in order to keep up with the Realtime Generation in the UK and around the world.

"We know from our research that the UK 's Realtime Generation has the tools and the talent to do this," Kelly said. "But will this highly capable generation have the support and investment from business, education, and government, to encourage them to keep this talent on these shores, and ensure it is used to further the economic success of UK plc?"