Only minority confident that digitisation will create jobs in future / Italians and Spanish want to be (digital) entrepreneurs, but that involves too much work for Germans / Most comprehensive survey to date of young adults on labour market, education and digitisation.
Berlin, 19 November 2014. Is the digital revolution losing its children? 33 percent of Germans aged between 18 and 30 definitely do not want a career in the digital economy. Only 13 percent of those surveyed said a clear “yes” to the possibility of a career in the digital sector. Nor can the majority of digital natives in Germany imagine working for a start-up (70 percent) or setting up their own business in the digital economy (77 percent).
In the crisis-hit countries of Spain and Italy, however, there is a far higher level of digital career affinity. These are the findings of the first Vodafone Institute Survey “Talking about a Revolution: Europe’s Young Generation on Their Opportunities in a Digitised World”.
The YouGov opinion research institute was commissioned by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications to conduct a survey of 6,000 young adults in the six European countries of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic. It is the most comprehensive survey to date of this age group on the issues of the labour market, educa-tion and digitisation, and is representative for age, region and gender.
Germans are optimistic about the future, but Italians and Spanish very pessimistic
43 percent of German survey respondents aged between 18 and 30 assume that they will have a better life than their parents’ generation. In Spain, only 29 percent of young adults have the same optimism about the future, and the figure for Italy is just 23 percent. The economic situa-tion in each of the countries strongly influenced the survey results.
While young adults in Italy and Spain believe that digitisation will have a positive impact on their future and that it is one possible way out of unemployment, their counterparts in Germany show a stronger preference for traditional job categories. Although they believe that digitisation does offer opportunities, they do not believe that these opportunities apply to them.
Only a minority are confident that digitisation will create jobs in future
The responses to the question of whether digitisation will cost jobs, create jobs or change the world of work diverged greatly. A minority of respondents (10 to 18 percent) in the six surveyed countries assumed that digitisation would create jobs. Between 27 and 41 percent believed that digitisation was a threat to jobs. Between 33 and 47 percent thought that it would change the world of work.
Young people in Italy and Spain fear the biggest loss of jobs as a result of digiti-sation and those respondents expecting job losses all believe that at least 20 percent of jobs will disappear.
69 percent of young Germans believe the advantages of digitisation outweigh the risks
In an overall assessment of risks associated with digitisation, Britain has the highest percentage of young adults (86 percent) who are of the opinion that the benefits of digitisation outweigh the disadvantages. 74 percent of respondents in Spain, 70 percent in Italy and 73 percent in the Czech Republic share that opinion. Young people in Germany and the Netherlands are less positive, and only 69 percent of them believe that there are more benefits than risks associated with digitisation.
Young Europeans are confident that Europe will play a leading role in the digital future
Young Europeans believe that Europe can play a leading role in digital technology research and development according to the Vodafone Institute survey. However, this positive appraisal is conditional upon Europe investing more in digital skills training so that it doesn’t fall behind other regions of the world.
The young adults’ assessment of their country’s competitiveness varied considerably from nation to nation. In Spain, 49 percent of 18 to 30-year-olds are concerned about their country’s competitiveness and job losses in the wake of digitization. In Italy, 60 per-cent have these concerns, whereas a far lower number of respondents expressed them in the Netherlands (40 percent), the United Kingdom (31 percent), the Czech Republic (36 percent) and in Germany (35 percent).