Parents are probably even less in tune with the vicissitudes of the current jobs market than they are with the dubstep scene... currently only 7,500 students take computer science degrees a year, meaning that many of the 20,000 graduate vacancies in the software industry alone remain unfilled each year.
A year ago I was offered a chance to deploy to Afghanistan as a mentor at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy located in Qargha, out to the west of the capital city of Kabul. My job here is to mentor the Afghan female PTIs who will deliver the physical training syllabus to the female officer cadets...
During a recent speech to manufacturing industry executives, Business Secretary Vince Cable cited teachers' lack of workplace knowledge as the 'underlying problem' in careers advice and guidance. According to Cable, teachers - predominantly graduates themselves - "know about UCAS forms - but... know absolutely nothing about the world of work."
Having worked in this area for many years, it is clear to me that a large part of the benefit of school attendance is what you learn outside the classroom, and the interactions with your peers, teachers and other staff. For some children, it could be the first time they interact with an adult beyond their immediate family.