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A Year Ago: E-envoy chases the girls

The e-minister reckons IT isn't as sexy as working for a funeral director
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

In an attempt to inject some glamour into IT, the government launched a series of initiatives Thursday aimed at bridging the skills gap and attracting more women to high tech careers.

The drive to improve the flagging image of IT professionals is all part of the government's determination to make the UK a leading destination for e-commerce. According to e-envoy Alex Allan IT jobs are currently "the least sexy" of all occupations rating lower than funeral directors.

The initiatives -- announced by Allan -- include a campaign to promote and re-brand the image of careers in IT, electronics and communications particularly targeting women and the younger generation. There are also plans to increase work experience placements and develop graduate apprenticeship schemes in the high tech industry.

There will also be a central database for businesses to access information on recruiting staff and a closer dialogue between business and education establishments so people are better equipped with IT skills.

Allan believes the plans will help inject give IT professions a much-needed image boost. "Industry needs to attract and retain high-skilled high calibre people, particularly far more women," he says. "Despite the glamour attracted by some start-ups, the overall image of jobs in IT occupations is poor. A report last year rated computer jobs as the least sexy of all occupations, lower than funeral directors."

Take me to the e-commerce special.

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