O2 pledges £500,000 to youth digital skills development

O2 pledges £500,000 to youth digital skills development

O2 has announced it will invest half a million pounds to develop the digital skills of the younger generation.

The operator’s CEO Ronan Dunne revealed the initiative with minister of civil services, Nick Hurd MP. The money will be invested in O2’s Think Big Hub in central London which allows young people to improve digital skills and gain career advice.

The move comes after youth unemployment stats published yesterday (19 March) revealed that 900,000 young people in the UK remain unemployed.

According to O2, the Think Big Hub will help 3,000 young people this year with 500 hours of work skills and employability training. The Think Big School will also be launched for 500 young people. Four individuals will complete youth work and administrative apprenticeships at the Hub.

Dunne said: ‘With the economy showing welcome signs of recovery and the digital opportunity now recognised as key to guaranteeing future economic growth, it is vital that businesses look to employ the right people with the right skills. Giving opportunities to those who have these digital skills in abundance – young people – is therefore of paramount importance.

‘This is why we have today launched the Think Big Hub – a new space in the heart of London’s Silicon Roundabout aimed at helping young people improve their digital skills and gain practical careers advice. We will be investing more than £500,000 across five years in the space and are expecting 3,000 digital natives to pass through its doors this year alone. And of course, although the Hub is based in London, we’ll be using digital technology to improve access to the training opportunities available through webinars, live streaming, virtual classrooms and online mentoring to ensure we can support young people across the UK.’

MP Hurd added: ‘I am pleased to be officially opening O2’s Think Big Hub in central London, where young people can develop their digital skills and improve their chances of getting on the career ladder.  I hope to see more companies, both large and small, taking steps like O2 to help young people get the skills and confidence they need to prepare them for valuable future careers.’

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