World Economic Forum report shows need to improve IT education in the UK, REC Technology argues
World Economic Forum report shows need to improve IT education in the UK, REC Technology argues.
A report published today by the World Economic Forum shows that the UK has fallen behind other countries in how it uses IT to support growth, in large part because of failures in the education system, REC Technology has highlighted.
The Global Information Technology Report (GITR), published annually by the World Economic Forum, showed the UK slipping from 13th to 15th in the league table of how well countries use IT to boost their economy (out of 138 countries). The UK has not been in the top ten, which is dominated by Nordic and 'Asian Tiger' countries, since 2006-07.
Whilst in the report, the UKs regulatory and infrastructure environment is found to be strong, individuals and government are perceived to be unready to make the most of IT.
In particular, the UK ranks only 55th in the world for the quality of maths and science education, behind countries such as Serbia, Romania and Trinidad & Tobago. On the Government procurement of advanced technology measure, the UK is 52nd. Both rankings suggest that this years decline is likely to continue in the future, as other countries invest in long-term development.
Responding to the report, REC Technology Chair Jeff Brooks said:
This insightful research by the World Economic Forum highlights the need for the UK to take at a serious look at how we teach IT at every stage of our education system, if we are to keep pace with the rest of the world.
REC Technology is currently undertaking detailed research into how and why people enter IT as a career, in the light of continuing concerns over the ongoing skills shortage the industry is facing. This research will inform concrete proposals as to how Government can address this vital issue and get more people working in IT.
As the RECs monthly Report on Jobs repeatedly shows, IT is one of Britains most promising growth areas and will be absolutely crucial to achieving the Governments aim of rebalancing the economy towards the private sector.
The GITR also highlights Whitehalls failure to prioritize and effectively procure advanced technology. The Cabinet Office has recognised this, and taken a first step with its recent strategy on government use of IT, but this is yet more evidence that a significant improvement is desperately needed.