Last updated: 18.07.13

Online training for young people to 'boost employment'

With the help of initiatives that harness technology, an increasing number of businesses will be able to offer improved training to students lacking in digital skills.At present, too few young people across the world have the relevant IT knowledge that could land them a job in their chosen industry and more should be done to address this to improve opportunities for students and ensure companies can hire new starters with the right experience.According to Financial Times contributor Sarah Murray, there are leaders in the corporate sector who are beginning to take note of this skills gap and are attempting to close it.For instance, the Jordan Education Initiative in the Middle East - which is backed by a number of tech giants like Microsoft, HP and IBM - is using IT to help the younger generation develop the skills needed to secure employment.As well as equipping schools across the country with computers, it is also integrating IT into curriculums and working on teacher-training software packages.Ms Murray wrote: "The initiative demonstrates that the corporate sector can contribute more than in-house training and education funding - particularly if companies harness their internal capabilities to develop digital teaching methods and online educational content that can potentially be used by millions."Assessment & Teaching of 21st Century Skills is a similar global project that is seeking to unite governments, schools and industries to improve digital training among young people.It has identified four key categories of skills, which are thinking creatively, using tools and data to reach decisions, working collaboratively and thinking about global issues - and technology plays a big part in developing these skills.Head of education at Microsoft Anthony Salcito is one of the body's sponsors and was quoted as saying that technology enables a level of cooperation that would have been difficult to achieve outside classrooms of the past.Closer to home in the UK, education secretary Michael Gove also has technology at the forefront of his mind and has tailored his new framework for the National Curriculum in England to provide pupils in the country with better digital skills.