Government to address IT skills gap

The plans are laid out in the government’s White Paper – Opportunity for all in a World of Change – which was published earlier this week.

The funding is intended to help close the IT skills gap, focusing particularly on the worst performing regions, in an effort to boost the supply of hi-tech skills to local businesses.

Tim Conway, director of industry affairs at the Computer Software and Services Association, said: ‘It is a good idea. Many of the further education courses do not have much IT content. Graduates need additional IT skills.’

However, he stressed that its success depends on further funding. ‘This is just a seed corn investment. £25m for 18 centres handling up to 10,000 people is a little light. You will need a great deal more than that,’ he said.

Other plans include university innovation centres to boost research and development. The first five involve companies such as BAe and Proctor & Gamble in the North East, and Hewlett Packard in Bristol.

Related reading