Research highlights “disconnect” between parents’ careers advice and industry needs

According to new research from O2, there is a “disturbing disconnect” between skills in demand from employers and those valued by parents.

One in 10 of 2,000 parents said they would discourage their children from digital jobs such as coding, with 23% labelling such skills “irrelevant.” Technology firms, however, said there were not enough graduates with digital skills for the jobs available.

Changes to the curriculum announced by the coalition in 2013 are due to come into effect in the autumn; pupils will learn how to write code, and about 3D printing and robotics.

A spokesman from The Confederation of British Industry said: “Recent reforms to education and apprenticeships are a step in the right direction but more needs to be done by the government and businesses to widen the pathway to higher digital skills.”

Ben Rowland, co-founder of Arch, the training firm which delivers digital and IT apprenticeships for the likes of Google, Facebook, Barclays, The Guardian and AO World, said: “We find that young people are finding their way to the digital economy despite advice they are getting from parents and teachers. What is needed is a sustained campaign of information to bring parents and teachers up to speed with the amazing opportunities now opening up for young people who are entering the job market for the first time.”