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Digital literacy is the key to future success for students

Digital literacy is the key to future success for students

Business leaders gave students a workshop masterclass in how important digital technology and engagement is for joining the workplace.

Miranda Webb, business operations manager, joined Scott Riley, Carl White and Sean Willetts from Preston and Chorley based DXC Technology UKI to host the skills workshop to students from Blackpool Sixth and local high schools, including South Shore Academy.

Students heard how the key four 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity are vital in the workplace. The team spoke to students about their own career journeys and how being adaptable is key to success.

Miranda explained: “I use a quote from the computer firm Dell in my talk, which points out that 85% of future jobs in the next decade don’t exist at the moment. 

“Jobs in the environmental field are a big growth area at the moment and using technology to reduce our plastic waste. My job isn’t directly technology based but I oversee how we invest in the right business growth areas as a company. Working in technology doesn’t just mean being an expert in a technical field, as these change and evolve constantly.”

Learning and development is the role of Scott Riley, who ensures that the staff at the company are developing skills in the right areas.

“When we are hiring, we always look for candidates who are willing to learn new skills and adapt their role and develop, not just what they are trained in now,” he said. 

Social media awareness is also a key skills for students to be aware of: “I would always say to students that they should be thinking about their presence online and how they portray themselves,” he said.

Former army veteran Carl White spoke to students about how a secondment to an IT department changed his career focus after leaving the armed services.

“There is no career for life and it’s important to understand that you will be always learning as you go through your career and you should take opportunities when you can,” said Carl.

The students gained insights into interview skills and how to play to their strengths and enjoyment when choosing careers to study.

Former Blackpool Sixth student Sean Willetts, who studied film and television production, has just started a graduate post with the company: “I’m using my media skills in my role but I’m mainly working in finance and with contractors. Adapting to your working environment is a key skill.”