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Insight: ‘Disturbing disconnect’ between skills demand and parents’ careers advice

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11th Jun 2014
Editor, HRzone.co.uk Sift
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There is a “disturbing disconnect” between the digital skills in demand in today’s jobs market and the more traditional skills valued by parents, according to a report.

Almost a quarter of parents believe digital skills are irrelevant to their children’s future career success, while 18% believe employers are not interested in digital skills, the study by O2 claimed.

One in 10 of the 2,000 parents questioned in the report said they would “actively discourage” their child from carving out a digitally-focused career, with 38% preferring their child to pursue more traditional, ‘safe’ career paths.

A lack of knowledge could be to blame for the findings, the report suggests, with one in three parents admitting they don’t know enough about the digital economy to help their children make informed career choices.

However, according to O2, the UK needs 750,000 digitally-skilled workers by 2017 in order to fuel economic growth.

“With many businesses now on the hunt for skills and expertise that simply didn’t exist ten years ago, it’s no surprise some parents are struggling to keep pace,” said Ann Pickering, HR director at O2.

“The growth of the digital economy presents a huge opportunity for young people – they possess native digital talent but they need the right support both at school and at home.”

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