UK IT education standards not up to scratch

British students are suffering from a lack of adequate IT education in schools with students and the future economy of the country set to suffer as a result.

Figures from the Prince’s Trust show that almost 10 per cent of unemployed young people don’t have the basic IT skills needed to gain employment in a certain field and IT expert Gary David Smith is of the opinion that it must change.

"I have said for many years that IT education in our schools is failing our young people," said Smith, who is the co-founder Prism Total IT Solutions, a company that offers complete IT support for over 1,000 UK SME’s. "Time and time again Prism has employed staff members who have qualified through the educational system but have to be retrained because they lack the basic skills that are required in the commercial world."

The Prince’s Trust survey canvassed some 1,378 15 to 25-year-olds, including 265 classed as NEETS [Not in Education or Training], and uncovered the statistics mentioned above. The root of the problem seems to be the type of IT teaching that happens in schools with Smith of the belief that programming should be given more of a platform.

"We are failing our children and we are failing Britain's great IT heritage. The web has democratised business opportunities. If we can instil in every child a basic understanding of programming we will give them a huge advantage,” Smith added.

One of the problems that has been identified is the fact that around 750,000 children have no access to the Internet when in the home, though Valerie Thompson of the E-Learning Foundation, stated this shouldn’t be a big problem.

"This wouldn't be so bad if they had great access at school, but there remains a postcode lottery, with some schools providing barely more than an hour a week of computer access," Thompson added.

The UK remains one of the most vibrant markets on the planet when it comes to technology jobs with availability hitting its highest level in the past five years during 2013.

Image Credit: Flickr (westernhunan)