BBC tech chief says new ICT curriculum will boost supply of high-quality graduate developers

By Sooraj Shah
23 Feb 2012 View Comments
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The move to scrap the current ICT curriculum and replace it with one based on computer science and programming will benefit business because students will develop technical skills at a younger age, according to the head of BBC Centre of Technology, Andy Wilson.

Wilson was speaking at IT recruitment agency The IT Board's roundtable discussion on the subject of IT skills.

"Currently those we recruit at graduate level may have only started computer science at the age of 18, perhaps earlier if they studied an IT-related course at A-level."

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"So for younger people [at GCSE level] to learn basic computer science skills is hugely exciting and it will have a huge impact across the whole value chain of an organisation.

"In the extra two to four years of academia they will be able to develop their skills a lot further and it means we could recruit a far higher-skilled graduate developer than we are recruiting right now," he said.

The ICT curriculum is set for an overhaul after last month's announcement from education secretary Michael Gove that the current curriculum will be scrapped and replaced with a course based on computer science.

Wilson believes that the curriculum change is necessary but that there is still more to be done to make a career in IT more attractive.

"When the industry and educational institutes try to show how attractive the industry is for younger people to work in, do we say maintaining servers is very interesting or do we show BBC workers at the Glastonbury festival plugging in audio and visual feeds and getting this out to people at home?

"I would say the latter but unfortunately the stigma that currently comes from IT is that it is all about maintaining servers. But, of course, it's not. It is actually the whole value chain of how we develop services for the modern business environment," he said.

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