Parents and teachers 'must encourage tech skills at school'

Parents and teachers must play a role in encouraging more young girls into tech careers, digital skills advocate The Tech Partnership has found.

Young women should receive more encouragement and validation in studying technology while at school, the organisation's research, sponsored by BT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tata Consultancy Services, concluded, using these findings to launch a year-long multimedia campaign called My Tech Future.

Aiming to promote digital career paths to all young people, a range of activities have been launched today starting with Tech Week, a series of events aimed at helping school-age girls and boys (10-19-year-olds) see technology as a viable option for their futures.

Karen Price, chief executive of the Tech Partnership, said: "Digital employers are passionately committed to attracting the brightest and best candidates, and they know that it is never too early to start promoting the benefits of tech education and careers.

"Through the continuing My Tech Future campaign, many others will be adding their voices, showcasing inspiring role models, and educating teachers and parents about their children's opportunities."

Minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey added that getting more women into technology roles was crucial to the sector's success.

He said: "The digital economy is critically important to the UK's global competitiveness, and to ensure the nation flourishes we need an inclusive, diverse and well-prepared talent pool. It's exciting to see employers coming together to find new ways of ensuring that women and girls can play their full part in the world of technology. The tech sector, and the nation, needs all their talent, skill and enthusiasm."

Targeting students, parents and teachers, the My Tech Future campaign will help build girls' confidence and knowledge through tech mentoring schemes in schools and tackle social stereotypes, promoting more female role models and making tech careers more relevant and personal with a tech skills app.

It will also aim to turn teachers and parents into guiding forces by building their own awareness of the importance of technology skills.

"Just about every career nowadays requires digital skills, and this will only be more true as time goes on," said Jacqui Ferguson, senior vice president at HPE Enterprise Services UK & Ireland.

"At HPE, we know how important it is to support young people at every stage of their educational journey in tech for instance, we sponsor the TechFuture Girls programme for 10-14-year-olds - and we're delighted to be working alongside many other organisations to open doors to students during Tech Week. This research will help us all to focus our efforts even more successfully in future."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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