We must “anticipate the skills needed for the future,” says Richard Branson

Serial entrepreneur and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has said that apprenticeships and support for small businesses are key in addressing the UK’s digital skills gap.

Speaking to the Guardian, he warned that unless government and big businesses get on board to provide support, the skills gap could become an “unmanageable problem.”

He said: “Government must also play a part – whether in preparing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow during their schooling or helping SMBs to understand how digital can help them succeed.”

“Ten years ago it felt as though teenagers in Britain were being told that university was the be all and end all, whereas in reality higher education wasn’t of use to many of those paying for it.”

“There are jobs that don’t exist today that we need to try and prepare the younger generation for. This can’t happen if we lag behind on the skills that are required. We need to look to the future and anticipate the skills level that will be needed not just tomorrow but in five, 10 and even 20 years’ time.”