How parents working in tech view education and the future of work

Parents worry about their children’s future. Thanks to the proliferation of technologies such as AI and automation, it’s understandable; if robots can do almost any job, what type of careers will be left for our children? The future of work seems bleak. But those who sit in the two camps; they work in tech, but also have kids, are a little more optimistic.

At least,  a new report from techUK, Preparing for change: How tech parents view education and the future of work, found that parents working for tech companies are optimistic about the future job market, but they do hold reservations about whether children are being prepared properly.

AI social responsibility: Does business owe a duty to society as well as shareholders?

AI social responsibility: Rohit Talwar, author and futurist thinks AI is set to transform society. CTOs are the key to this, but do they need to exercise a responsibility which is more than just worrying about P&L?

However, although the report found that parents working in the tech sector are confident about their children’s future job prospects, they do think a reboot on skills is needed to ensure opportunities in tech can be grasped.

Parents argued, in order to achieve future opportunities, the educational landscape will need to evolve – 65% of parents surveyed believe that a stronger focus on soft skills is needed.

Melanie Oldham gives her tips for building a cyber security team image“Hire them young” Melanie Oldham gives her tips for building a cyber security team

Hiring youngsters is the key to Melanie Oldham’s approach to building a cyber security workforce — it’s difficult to avoid drawing a comparison with Manchester United, a few years back.

Over one hundred parents currently working in tech contributed to the report which was published on January 4th.  Vinous Ali, head of policy at techUK, was due to make an appearance in front of the House of Commons Education Committee inquiry into the fourth industrial revolution, a few days later.  Ali stated that this is a chance to explain how the UK’s education system needs to change so that it can meet the emerging opportunities

“As a leader in tech innovation, the UK is well placed to take advantage of new technology,” said techUK’s CEO Julian David. 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.”

He 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 teamwork. 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.”

The full report can be found here.

Secretary of State for Education challenges tech industry imageSecretary of State for Education challenges tech industry

Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, has challenged both UK and Silicon Valley tech firms to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing the education sector.

Avatar photo

Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future