In light of today’s warning from the British Computing Society that the number of students choosing a computer qualification could halve by 2020, Charles Parker, CEO of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which promotes and supports 48 University Technical Colleges, says:

“Policy makers must do more to ensure the future of our children and of our technology industries. Not enough is being done to encourage children to study new technology and in today’s digital revolution, these skills are vital to navigating the future workplace. The IT industry is a pillar of our economy and failing this generation now will have a ripple effect across other industries.

No one doubts that we are experiencing exponential growth and rapid changes are occurring in the world of education and employment as a result. To avoid our children’s jobs being taken by robots, parents should send them to schools that equip them for success. Baker Dearing and UTCs know how important these subjects are to the students and the economy and will continue vigorously to promote them.

There are eight open UTCs specialising in computing and cyber security (Bristol, Bucks, Leigh, Reading, Charles Kao, South Devon, Watford, and Scarborough) with SGS Berkeley Green opening in September. Last summer, students from 20 out of 26 UTCs took Computer Sciences and ICT GCSEs. 796 students took these subjects out of 1,829, or 43.5%.

We think the case for backing the UTC programme is stronger than ever and we call on all politicians to unite in their support of high quality technical education.”