From education to employment

AI for education in the UK – Does the potential outweigh the risk?


Nearly 60% of teachers say that interacting with AI systems will be a key skill required for jobs in the future, however students struggle with the skills required for the 21st century workforce

New generative AI tools are disrupting the education sector and posing both challenges and opportunities for students and teachers. Capgemini Research Institute’s new report, Future ready education: Empowering secondary school students with digital skills’, also found that students aged 16-18 feel much less confident about whether their digital skills make them workforce-ready than their teachers. This is especially in terms of digital communication and data literacy.

Education systems around the world are already making moves to either accommodate or exclude generative AI tools such as ChatGPT from students’ day-to-day activities. Nearly half (48%) of secondary school teachers, for example, report that their schools have either blocked or restricted the tools’ use in one form or another. Others have been less restrictive in their approach with 19% saying that such tools have been allowed for specific use-cases, and 18% noting that they are still evaluating it for its applicability and usefulness in the classroom. Overall, over half (56%) of secondary school teachers agreed that curriculums and assessments needed to be adapted to account for student use of AI-generated content, and a similar proportion (52%) believe AI tools will change the teaching profession for the better.

Balancing the risks with the benefits

While many can see the potential of generative AI tools, 78% of secondary school teachers globally share concerns about the negative impact of generative AI tools on student learning outcomes, including the perception that the value of writing as a skill, will be diminished (66%) and that the tool will limit student creativity (66%).

Despite these concerns, half of secondary school teachers globally say that the potential of generative AI as an educational tool outweighs the risks. Of the perceived benefits that AI tools could bring, key use cases highlighted by teachers include using it to teach how to interact with and understand AI models (60%), to aid critical thinking exercises (56%), and as a tool to help suggest edits to students’ work (52%), among others.

The sentiment towards generative AI varies significantly across different geographies: teachers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland recognize the importance and potential of generative AI, much more than Singapore, Japan or France.

Equipping students with key skills for the future

Almost two thirds (64%) of secondary school teachers are convinced of the importance to develop students’ digital skills to make them job-ready and the vast majority (82%) agree that compulsory education in digital skills would be beneficial to students. However, according to the report, they seem to overestimate students’ confidence in digital skills: 70% of them believe that their students have the necessary skills to be successful in today’s workforce (83% in large cities versus only 40% in rural areas), while only 64% of parents and 55% of students aged 16-18 agree. The research also finds that teachers in rural areas are less likely to believe that digital literacy is a priority for their school than their peers in suburban and urban areas.

As per the research, while 72% of students aged 16–18 feel confident about their basic digital literacy[2], less than half (47%) feel the same way about digital communication and data literacy[3] – attributes which are considered crucial for success in the modern workplace. The report highlights that instilling confidence is key to empowering students to correctly identify fact from misinformation online. While the majority (80%) of students say they are confident in finding information online, fewer know which online sources to trust (66%) and even less are able to decipher fact versus opinion online (61%).

As the world undergoes a dual transition to a digital and sustainable economy, the shortage of digital talent is reaching a critical point, and widening the digital divide,” said Shobha Meera, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer at Capgemini and member of the Group Executive Committee. “With the emergence of technologies such as generative AI, we must empower the younger generation by building their capabilities and confidence in digital technologies. This will require a collaborative approach between businesses, governments, and education establishments. At Capgemini, we are committed to play a major role in digital skills training: over 2 million people have already benefited from our digital literacy programs since 2018, and we have already hired 6,000 of the 29,000 graduates from our digital academies.” 

For more information or to download the report, visit here.


The Capgemini Research Institute conducted a global study, surveying a range of stakeholders within education systems across Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United State in March-April 2023.

Participants surveyed, included 1,800 secondary school teachers, 4,500 parents of secondary school students, and 900 students aged between 11 and 18 years old. All teachers surveyed work full-time and are employed in a public or state secondary school.

Sciences, mathematics, English language arts, media, and humanities were the most common areas of expertise or subjects taught among the teachers surveyed. Parents surveyed within each country are representative of the country’s national population for race/ethnicity/ethnic group and household income. All students aged 18 and under were surveyed with consent of a responding parent. 

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