Report into Britain's tech knowledge finds big gap between jobseekers' current and desired levels of IT understanding

Young people who are looking for employment in the IT industry would be wise to brush up on their computing skills to help kick-start their careers, a survey suggests.

A YouGov online study of 4,535 consumers, conducted in August by leading PC maker HP, found that one in 10 young people thought that they did not know enough about computers and software to succeed in the workplace.

Around 9 per cent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 considered their computing knowledge to be 'low', while 61 per cent in the same age group placed themselves in the 'medium' category.

With computers becoming increasingly essential to people's everyday lives, the research found that the younger generation is beginning to recognise some alarming gaps in their own understanding, with 38 per cent reporting differences between their current and desired levels of computer know-how.

A further 46 per cent of the 18 to 34-year-olds who took part in the research thought that just being able to use a computer was not enough for them, stating the importance of being able to maintain their own machines, while 58 per cent of them are happy to perform computing DIY and fix or speed up their systems themselves.

The research marks the launch of the first HP Total Care Centre in the UK, where customers can seek advice on computing and IT and even arrange for their systems to be serviced if they are not among the respondents who want to do the job themselves.

Paul Hunter, general manager of HP UK and Ireland, said it was concerning to learn that people were of the opinion that they don't have the skills they need to use computers.

"Given the current challenges of the economy, it's important that all generations are equipped with the skills they need to be competitive in the workplace and beyond," he said.

Copyright Press Association 2012