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Parents encouraged to equip their kids for a digital future

23 Jan Parents encouraged to equip their kids for a digital future

A new survey of 2,000 parents and 2,000 children by O2 has revealed the future is tech. Nearly half (49%) of children polled want to pursue a career in the tech industries, with vlogger topping the list of dream careers (30%), followed by animator (15%), software developer (14%), web designer (12%) and coder (12%).  And over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed believe that digital skills will be vital to their future career success.

In spite of this, only 11% of parents admit they encourage their kids to use technology as a way to develop skills or express their creativity online. And while three quarters (75%) of mums and dads talk to their children every day about what they do at school, only a little over a third (36%) said they ask their children about what they do online each day.  A tenth of those claim a lack of confidence on how to talk to young people about the risks and opportunities of the online world is the cause for the lack of dialogue.

The news comes as leading economists predict that 44% of traditional jobs in the UK economy today could feasibly be automated by the time today’s pupils enter the world of work¹. Building parents’ confidence to explore the online world with their children is an important step forward in nurturing their digital skills and preparing them for the career roles of the future.

In order to help parents safely explore the digital world with their children, O2 is working in partnership with the NSPCC to provide a series of free online safety tools and resources. So far, they’ve helped over 25,000 parents get to grips with their child’s digital world, running workshops in primary schools across the UK.

Parents can also access personalised advice and support about the digital world via the free O2 NSPCC Helpline, open 7 days a week (0808 800 5002), alongside face to face advice from O2 Gurus in over 450 stores nationwide, available to both O2 and non-O2 customers.  More free resources are available on the O2 NSPCC Hub, where parents can sign up to receive the Icebreaker email series with valuable online safety advice and top tips direct to parents’ inboxes.