The Truth Behind UK’s Future Workforce: £15 the Value of Privacy, Coders in Every Classroom

, Mar 29, 2016

National survey reveals digitally literate teens poised to transform economy.

A nationwide survey of 1000 13-17 year olds has revealed a growing number of digitally literate teens able to code, hack, and who are happy to swap their personal information in return for cash. The findings are published today in the eighth annual Realtime Generation report commissioned by Logicalis UK, entitled The Age of Digital Enlightenment’.

A day-in-the-life of a UK teen is mobile (93% own a smartphone) and includes nine hours online, consuming, publishing or creating content. For this generation, there is an app for everything and, if one doesn’t exist, a growing number (18% currently) are acquiring the coding skills to build their own.

42% would rather accept £15, equivalent to the price of a large pizza, for giving away their personal information than earn cash from a job. As consumers, teens clearly understand the commercial value of their personal data, and are willing to share information provided it results in a better service or deal.

7% have tried hacking - 1 in 14. Proportionately this equates to at least one hacker per classroom. And whilst most say they are hacking out of curiosity, it’s important these skills are channelled to the benefit of society.

Gerry Carroll, author of the report and marketing director at Logicalis UK, comments, “While some of the statistics around hacking and online behaviour may be alarming, it’s essential we recognise the economic potential of these instinctively digital teenagers. Whether creating new careers in an increasingly digitalised workplace, or nurturing the skills so sorely needed in the IT industry, today’s teenagers are better placed than ever before to achieve the efficiency and productivity promise of IT. Public and private sector organisations should nurture and channel these talents, creating the right opportunities for these digitally enlightened teens to deliver their true dividend.”

At school, 81% think teachers do a great job integrating digital learning into class, and 60% believe the current ICT curriculum offers an adequate foundation for their higher education and career aspirations. A respectable 41% are taking a qualification in a computer science subject and just over half (52%) would make ICT and computer sciences mandatory (of which, 45% were girls).

Carroll continues, “With numerous reports bemoaning the loss of jobs to increasingly computerised functions, this generation is busy developing the skills it needs for careers that don’t yet exist. The next decade will see an influx of employees whose capabilities will be light years ahead from our existing expectations of ‘ICT skills’. Able to create, build or knowledgeably commission the IT they want, today’s teenagers are a future workforce with the potential to enable and transform the UK’s digital economy.”

Silicon Valley addicts:

  • The average teen spends nine hours a day online and digitally engaged.
  • 93% own a smartphone – 55% Apple iOS, 39% Android OS.
  • Own an average of 4.9 connected devices and 48% store personal data online.
  • Top three platforms for content – YouTube (87%), Netflix (51%), Spotify (49%).
  • 43% are coding already or would like to learn how. Of those coding, 48% are girls.
  • 90% watch online tutorials.

Security: Victims and hackers in every classroom

  • 1 in 14 have tried hacking (7%), proportionately at least one hacker per classroom.
  • 44% are ‘not surprised’ to hear that teenagers are responsible for hacking large corporations and 19% have themselves been hacked – 72% an email account, 53% a social network.
  • 44% have reported inappropriate online behaviour54% of all girls are regularly reporting inappropriate online behaviour, compared to 33% of boys.
  • One in three (37%) have been targeted by an Internet scam.

Digital Rights: Tech savvy consumers who understand the value of their personal data

  • 42% would rather earn £15 cash giving away personal data, than earning cash from a job. 28% have given their personal information in return for a discount or promotion.
  • 75% shop online or engage with a brand online, often to seek a better deal, as part of their shopping ritual.
  • 73% follow brands they like, 62% click on ads within social media, and 57% make in-app or in-game purchases. 25% of girls follow more than 10 brands on social sites.
  • A substantial 44% trust UK Government with personal data, when in exchange for better services. At 25%, social media platforms are the least trusted despite being the digital activity teens spend most time doing, 100 minutes per day on average. 38% trust brands, 37% trust service providers.

Coding Teens: Gender split narrows as teens get digital fix in classroom, but it’s not to every teen’s taste

  • 18% are now coding, this is greater than last year’s study (16%) and more than double the 7% in 2013.
  • Gender split narrows significantly: Of those coding, 48% are girls.
  • 41% are taking a qualification in a computer science subject. 52% (of which 45% girls) would make ICT and computer sciences mandatory.
  • 81% think teachers do a great job integrating digital learning into class, but 14% would prefer to limit use of digital devices and tools to IT and computer science classes. 7% would prefer not to use any devices in class.
  • 16% still attend schools with limited or no IT facilities.
  • 60% believe the ICT curriculum offers adequate foundation for Higher Education and career aspirations.

Career Aspirations: More work to be done getting girls into ICT

  • STEM rules in boys’ top three career options:IT & Information Management (28%), Manufacturing & Engineering (23%), Science & Research (21%).
  • Girls’ top three career options:Education & Training (18%), Medicine & Nursing (18%), Science & Research or Arts, Crafts & Design (15%)

Employee Habits: A digital workforce waiting in the wings

  • Not surprisingly, 88% say they want a career doing something they’ll enjoy. 35% say earning a living wage is top priority.
  • 69% expect to work flexibly, both hours and location. 80% think UK broadband is good enough for homeworking.
  • 56% (64% of boys & 48% of girls) would like to create their own apps to use on HE or company network.
  • 88% think their future employer will have to update devices & access to ICT to support their needs.
  • The top three skills and qualities in the workplace: Time management (35%), ability to use ICT programmes (29%), and team leadership (28%).

Survey Methodology

  • Methodology: Online quantitative survey
  • Base Size: 1000 UK 13-17 year olds
  • Fieldwork Period: 7th – 17th January 2016

About the Realtime Generation survey?

Logicalis’ Realtime Generation survey seeks to establish the digital footprint of 13-17 years olds, the next generation of workers, and capture their opinions on the digital future of the UK. The Realtime Generation survey provides a unique insight for universities, employers and Government into how this generation’s expectations, concerns and aspirations for its education, prospective careers and consumer demands will influence our economy.


Media contact:
Greg Halse / Jacob Petterson
Cohesive Communications
+44 (0) 1291 626200
Out of Hours Tel. +44 (0)7890 26 4404

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