March 2012 Archives

Budget 2012: We need more IT apprentices

Cliff Saran | 3 Comments
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It has not been a big budget for job creation. The Chancellor said the government was committed to increase adult apprenticeship funding by £250 million a year by 2014-15. The question is whether this is enough?

David Bywater, a KPMG tax partner, said, "The government is trying to support apprentices. It is a measure that is welcome, but the question is: is it enough? What will be the tangible benefits for business?"

However, Bindi Bhullar, director, HCL Technologies said: "Far from worrying about being left behind by foreign economies such as India, the government should instead look to follow their example, and find local government sponsorship for training and support from high-tech multinational corporations. There are so many savvy young minds who are facing the prospect of long-term unemployment today, and if the government is truly serious about embracing innovation, it should invest in IT skills for the young as a means of creating jobs, and driving Britain out of economic uncertainty."

David Roberts, executive director of The Corporate IT Forum, said, "Apprentices need much more support because the fall out rate is quite high. There has to be a mentoring programme in place. Apprentices need to have access to a business savvy mentor.

Declining university STEM courses: Getting to the root of the problem

kbateman | No Comments
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A guest blog from Dr Mike Lynch, CEO and Founder of Autonomy


The reduction of STEM subject university degree courses is a worrying trend that will undoubtedly have an impact on the UK IT industry. The problem, of course, begins before university, and that is where it needs to be addressed.


In the last few years, the way ICT has been taught in schools has 2663_10_6-mike-lynch-chief-executive-autonomy.pngstilted the imaginations of the young by boring them with the tedium of learning to use specific applications, instead of encouraging them to be creative with how they use technology and gain more widely applicable skills.


There is too much focus on learning to use specific platforms and applications - which will be years out of date by the time pupils leave school - and not enough on the fundamentals of technology. Young people are inherently good at getting to grips with using technology - why spend weeks teaching them what they can teach themselves in hours?


Keeping children engaged in Maths and Science at school will improve the demand for those courses at university and, with the right kind of IT skills, lead to a more employable generation of graduates.



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