PRESS RELEASE

5 Mar 2015

BRANSON: 'FUTURE OF UK BUSINESSES DEPENDS ON DIGITAL SKILLS

Sir Richard Branson will today highlight the importance of digital skills to the future of the UK economy at a meeting with the Digital Youth Council – the panel of tech-savvy young people established by Virgin Media Business

The entrepreneur will say that digital know-how is one of the most valuable things they will take with them on leaving school, and that pupils like them are not being consulted enough by the Government on how these skills are taught in school.

Virgin Media Business founded the panel of eight 9-17 year-olds in November 2014 as part of Generation Tech – a nationwide review of how technology is shaping education.

Sir Richard will present each of the members with a certificate recognising their contribution to the Council, as well as talking to them about how they believe technology can help them achieve their future ambitions.

The members will also meet to develop the Big Ask – an idea being discussed with Virgin Media Business to encourage Government and businesses to work collaboratively to ready students for the digitally driven business world they will enter on leaving school.

Sir Richard Branson said: “Britain is a digital leader, however our businesses will fall behind if students leave school without vital digital skills. 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. The Digital Youth Council is a great example of how we can harness the skills and views of young people and create digitally savvy entrepreneurs of the future.”

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “The Digital Youth Council has done some exciting things in its first three months of existence – speaking out on key issues, developing recommendations for Government and even designing their own digital innovations. 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.”

The UK has reached a ‘make or break’ crossroads in maintaining its digital edge over the rest of the world. Schools in particular will play a vital role in the UK’s future workforce, equipping students with skills to succeed. Virgin Media Business is a key player in the sector. Under a partnership with London Grid for Learning, around 2,500 educational institutions have improved learning environments with the introduction of high tech classrooms powered by Virgin Media Business.

More information can be viewed at www.generationtechvmb.co.uk

About Generation Tech

Generation Tech is the UK’s first state-of-the-nation review of the vital role that technology plays in education. It is an ambitious listening exercise to understand how technology is shaping education, shining a light on the best examples and getting students and teachers excited about the future.

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