UK schools are preparing teens for work, but coding still falls short

UK schools are making significant strides to train teenagers for technologies used at the workplace, compared to their European counterparts, business communications firm Fuze revealed in its new research.

The research titled ‘The App Generation: how employees of the future are shaping the world of work,’ said that 58 per cent of UK teens have been trained to use technologies such as email, PowerPoint and Word.

In addition, it also revealed that UK teenagers have been offered more work experience opportunities, compared to those from other European countries. Work opportunities for UK teens are at 69 per cent, while the European average is at 51 per cent.

Amid the technological advancement among the teens in the UK, a disconnect is seen when these teens join the entire UK working populace in terms of the preferred medium of communication. 63 per cent of UK office workers see the desk phone as an essential item for work, while just 1 per cent of teenagers prefer to use a landline telephone to communicate with friends.

The majority of UK teens, or 57 per cent, prefers to use use video calling apps, but only 47 per cent of adults use video calls in work.

In addition, only a low 12 per cent of UK teenagers - between 15 to 18 years old - have received lessons in how to code computing languages at school. The result, which is lower compared to other nations in Europe, including France (25 per cent), Germany (13 per cent) and the Netherlands (19 per cent), is contrary to the government’s shift in focus for technology towards the harder coding skills of computing.

“This is the first generation that has grown up in a world of ‘always on’ connectivity, where carrying a computer around in your pocket is the norm. Meanwhile the world of business has struggled to keep up with that pace of change,” said Luca Lazzaron, Senior Vice President of International Operations, Fuze.

“Workplace technologies are still not ‘mobile first’ in the way that this generation’s approach to technology is. The ‘app generation’s’ relationship with technology is going to have a significant impact when they enter the workplace, whether what they’ve learnt in school is how to code or how to create slideshows,” he added.

Image credit: Collin Knopp-Schwyn / Flickr