Spotlight falls on IT skills

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "Spotlight falls on IT skills", Education + Training, Vol. 42 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Spotlight falls on IT skills

Spotlight falls on IT skills

Keywords: Information technology, Internet, Skills, United Kingdom

Electronic-commerce minister Patricia Hewitt has called for Britain to lead the world in the supply of highly skilled information-technology and electronics specialists.

She said: "In the knowledge economy, the development of intellectual capital is paramount - no more so than in IT, communications and electronics, the technologies on which all businesses increasingly depend.

"The clear message from industry is that the countries which are best able to meet the skill needs of those sectors will enjoy a major competitive advantage.

"It is vital that Britain enjoys a plentiful supply of people who possess the right skills for jobs in IT, communications and electronics - people who can design and manufacture hardware and software; people who install and manage complex IT and communications systems.

"The Government has already set an ambitious goal of making Britain the best environment in the world for electronic trading. Now we are establishing a further goal: to ensure that the UK is the best digital economy for the supply of high-level skills in IT, communications and electronics.

"I want to see Britain establish a clear lead over its competitors and success will depend on a partnership of action between business, the education system and the Government."

She was speaking at the launch of a report entitled Skills for the Information Age, prepared by an industry-skills group for the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Employment. Major recommendations include:

  • a new skills council for IT, communications and electronics to drive forward improvements in the supply of skills;

  • a sustained campaign to raise awareness about careers in IT, communications and electronics, particularly among children and women;

  • a better dialogue between business and education to address skill needs, and new ways to define and measure skill needs for these industries.

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