The report - Preparing for change: How tech parents view education and the future of work - includes ground-breaking research into the opinions of parents working for tech companies and reveals their optimism for the future job market, but reservations about whether children are being prepared properly.
Despite recent negativity that suggests automation and new technologies will lead to the widespread destruction of jobs, the report shows that parents are optimistic about what the future of work will mean for children currently at school. 64 per cent were optimistic or very optimistic about the future job opportunities that would be available to their children.
Parents surveyed by techUK were clear that, in order to achieve those opportunities, the educational landscape will need to evolve - with 65 per cent of parents surveyed believing that a stronger focus on soft skills was needed.
techUK’s CEO Julian David said: “As a leader in tech innovation, the UK is well placed to take advantage of new technology. Tech parents are confident that their children will have good opportunities for interesting and rewarding work as the economy becomes ever more digital. But they are also very clear that having the right skills will be key. Education policy and lifelong learning provision needs to meet the needs of a fast-moving, fast-changing labour market that ensures opportunities for all.”
Parents working in tech roles are not convinced that, as it stands, the education system will help develop the opportunities required for their children. 73 per cent of those surveyed felt the curriculum did not place sufficient emphasis on the types of skills that would become more vital in the future world of work. And 90 per cent believe their children would need to retrain throughout their lives to keep up with the pace of technological change.
Julian David added: “We need greater focus on relevant education and skills for both our young people and workers who need to reskill throughout their lives. Adapting the curriculum to ensure young people today are equipped for the jobs of tomorrow is absolutely vital.
“We need a more balanced approach to the curriculum that supports knowledge-based learning whilst also nurturing skills such as critical-thinking and team work. Creativity will be a key differentiator in a knowledge economy and these subjects must be properly supported. Policymakers also need to be radical in their approach to adult education and work with industry to ensure that future workforces are encouraged and supported to retrain and upskill.”