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UKIE launches cross-industry Next Gen Skills campaign

Hi-tech industries come together to demand computer programming becomes part of National Curriculum

The UK's digital industries have formed a coalition to campaign the government to change the educational system and ensure computer programming skills are taught in schools and classrooms.

The Next Gen Skills campaign is supported by UKIE, Google, The British Screen Advisory Council, NESTA, British Computing Society, UK Screen, Skillset, GuildHE, e-skills, Abertay University, Guardian Media Group and TalkTalk, amongst others.

The campaign itself is based on the Livingstone Hope review, released in February, and centres on three key areas - the introduction of an industry relevant Computer Science course in the National Curriculum; a review of current ICT practises and the embedding of essential ICT across the curriculum; and the promotion of teaching maths, physics, art and computer science in the growth of the UK's digital creative and high-tech industries.

"As businesses increasingly rely on technology and computing, the UK has the opportunity to become a global, hi-tech leader. However, we need to improve our education system to allow this potential to be fulfilled," commented Ian Livingstone, co-author of the Livingstone Hope review.

"Next Gen Skills believes that not having computer science on the national curriculum is a risk to any UK business that has computing and technology at its core. This is as relevant to design, engineering, financial services and architecture, from the building of jet engines to protection against cybercrime, as it is to the digital creative industries."

He added: "We're excited to have so many big names signed up as initial supporters of Next Gen Skills already and we welcome support from any organisations who share our goal of equipping the next generation with the knowledge needed to grow this country's digital, creative and hi-tech economy."

The coalition was first announced in July, with UKIE kick-starting the project with £30,000 funding and hopes to raise that to £100,000.

A formal response from the government on the Livingstone Hope review is expected today. GamesIndustry.biz will be reporting from the launch of the campaign throughout the day.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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