Skills Development Scotland research highlights 16 to 19 year olds communications use

More than half of Scotland’s 16-19 year olds send text messages every hour, and a third send more than 100 a day, according to new research commissioned by Skills Development Scotland.

The same study into 16-19 year olds use of technology also found that almost half never used email, with most preferring to communicate using their mobile phones or via social media such as Bebo.

The research was carried out by Skills Development Scotland to ensure that it communicates effectively now and in the future with its target audiences in the face of changing technology. It will shape how SDS’ services can be accessed in the future.

The findings will also inform Scotland’s business community as a whole, illustrating the changing nature of how people – including customers and potential future employees – communicate.

Key results from the Communication and Technology survey were:

55% of young people communicate with friends by text hourly

32% text more than 100 times a day

90% of those surveyed have a Bebo account, with 44% accessing it daily

77% of those owning games consoles, such as an Xbox or Playstation, use these to go online

44% never use email

While 65% download files to their phones, just 2% use their phones to download podcasts

Skills Development Scotland Chief Executive Damien Yeates said: “The results of this research are fascinating. They not only inform SDS on how it should be communicating with its audiences – but also provide a valuable insight into how the workforce of tomorrow uses technology.

“While today’s businesses and workers see email as a vital – if occasionally frustrating – business tool, it appears the next generation are already finding others ways of communicating.

“It is clearly too soon to regard email as a thing of the past, but the findings of research like this enables us to keep our communications in step with how people would prefer to receive our messages. It demonstrates there are other – perhaps more effective – methods of communication, which businesses today can already start to consider.

“Technology skills will be increasingly important in the jobs of tomorrow. This research illustrates the ease with which young people are harnessing the potential of the communications technologies available to them and SDS will be working hard to ensure these skills are developed and enhanced to meet the demands of Scotland’s industries.”

The research was carried out among 16 to 19 year old people attending Get Ready for Work programmes across Scotland.


About mcclarity

External Relations Manager at Ofcom Scotland. Support for Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Digital Participation
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