An IT Manifesto for people, employment and growth

Sorry to be late with the blog, but I was waiting for e-skills uk to publish our Manifesto for technology skills. Let’s hope whoever forms the next Government reads it.

Here it is at: http://www.e-skills.com/About-us/2684 It’s signed by 23 of us from across the UK IT industry and by CIOs across the sectors.

I imagine  nearly everyone reading this blog probably already agrees with e-skills that IT has the potential to create more jobs for the future and is the key to delivering the modern, world-class public services the UK needs.  It is certainly evident to us, as individuals and as an organization, that it is technology that enables innovation, spawns new industries and creates new sources of wealth.   We know that it is technology that underpins productivity improvement and global competitiveness.  And, personally, I believe it is technology that can enable us to find answers to the great issues facing the world, from famine to disease to climate change.

It is, though, a pretty safe bet that – thinking these things – we are in a minority in the UK.  I fear that understanding IT, deploying IT and training our people in IT come a depressingly long way down most people’s agendas.

But, given the challenges – and failures – of many other industries and sectors, why would our next Government not back IT?  Surely it is the UK’s key ingredient for global competitiveness in the private sector and for efficiency in the public sector?

And we are not talking here about hardware and software, bits and bytes.   We are talking about investment in people – in fact, we are talking about investment in everyone in the UK.  Modern economies, in the second decade of the 21st century, are driven by skilled people who create and use technology.

This is as true of fashion and film as of pharmaceuticals and retail: as true of gaming and journalism as of consultancy and banking. The UK needs more – many more – of these skilled people. We need to e-skill the UK – and we need to do it now. And that’s what we say in our Manifesto.

About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

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