The CSSA (Computer Software and Services Association) and Oracle have launched their crusade to put information technology at the top of the political agenda.
Unveiling a 10-point IT Manifesto in Whitehall last week, Andrew Roberts, CSSA president, said: "The aim of the manifesto is to provoke debate and get IT at the centre of the next government's agenda. We must generate a strong base for IT in the future."
Philip Crawford, Oracle's managing director, added: "Two centuries ago the UK embarked on a revolutionary goal to industrialise itself, ahead of other nations. I suggest we can do the same again with information technology."
The manifesto aims to raise the level of IT skills from the classroom to the workplace. One of its key recommendations is for a future UK government to publish national training targets.
The manifesto also suggests making IT an integral part of the teacher training programme, and urges a future government to increase the education budget by 1% to cover IT-based learning.
Other key proposals include a more active policy on encouraging IT firms to set up sites in the UK, along the lines of that adopted by the Irish government.
IT MANIFESTO: 10 POINTS
1. Set national training targets
2. Make IT integral part of teacher training
3. Raise education budget for IT-based learning by at least 1%
4. Support deregulation of telecoms infrastructure
5. Promote tax policies that encourage investment
6. Work with industry to provide support network for firms offering guidance on and access to IT finance, training etc
7. Set up forum to facilitate greater cooperation between industry and academia
8. Establish regulatory structure for IT and communications industries
9. Resolve issues of IT security, privacy, taxation and encryption concerns to encourage widespread adoption of electronic commerce.
10. Establish more high-profile IT projects.
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