The UK is in need of 750,000 extra digital workers by 2017 if it wants to make the most of a £12bn economic opportunity, according to a new report.
O2's latest report found that over one-fifth of the required jobs would suit the current generation of digitally-savvy youngsters currently without jobs.
Telefónica UK CEO Ronan Dunne said now more than ever before, digital offers the chance to drive sustained economic recovery.
"The onus cannot be on the Government alone. Businesses must proactively seek out opportunities to collaborate to maximise the digital growth opportunity and harness the potential of the next generation," Dunne said.
"As digital natives, young people possess valuable skills that will be the future fuel of our economy, but not enough is being done to harness them."
The report also presses the government and organisations to collaborate on maximising digital growth opportunities, which would result in the creation of 100,000 more jobs.
The UK government's existing digital economy initiatives are targeted to accelerate annual economic output worth £7bn by 2017.
Go ON UK deputy director Tristan Wilkinson said the report stresses the scale of the digital opportunity but also the very real cost to our economic recovery if we do not create a workforce that is fit for the future.
"It's vital that government, industry and the voluntary sector work together to ensure that everyone has basic online skills," Wilkinson said.
"Only then will we unlock the huge economic and social benefit that digital presents."