Man and Machine Limited, a value added distributor in the digital design community, has launched survey results that reveal a stark warning to the Government – increase the budget for IT technology in schools or starve students of a brighter future.
The survey, conducted by Man and Machine, interviewed teachers, heads of year, ICT managers and an Ofsted Inspector working at secondary schools and colleges throughout the UK. Key findings revealed that 82% of respondents believed that the current budget they received was simply not enough to prepare students for employment within key sectors such as IT and Computer Aided Design (CAD).
This trend is particularly alarming considering that key government figures such as Doug Brown, Deputy Director of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), have been publicly urging educators to let students experiment with the latest technologies to prevent UK students falling behind their European and American counterparts. The skill-set shortage hasn’t gone unnoticed by employers, with 69% of firms admitting they are having to invest in additional training due to concerns about the IT skills of employees*.
Man and Machine’s survey also revealed the challenges that school IT managers faced when purchasing IT equipment. The inability to provide up-to-date facilities that meet both teachers’ and students’ needs within current budgets was high up on the list of challenges.
After seeing the survey results, Tim Seaman, Managing Director at Man and Machine, commented: “With the Government pledging an extra £230 million to schools for this year’s budget, the results of the survey show that the money is certainly not being invested in preparing pupils for work in the IT sector. It is clear that there is a real demand for technology by students and staff in the education sector and if this isn’t addressed soon, future employees are going to suffer greatly when they begin working. We live and breathe technology in our daily lives so it is essential that we equip our students with the skills they need to succeed in the working world. We strongly urge the Government to take these concerns more seriously and take a step to proactively address this issue.”