Sir Clive Sinclair has slammed the UK government for failing properly to invest in spending on IT over the past 30 years, meaning that it has fallen behind nations such as South Korea and China.
The inventor lamented the under-representation of IT in government going as far back as the 1980s.
"Unfortunately, our government has never devoted anything like sufficient money and other resources to IT, with the result that countries such as Singapore, Korea, Japan and China are probably the world leaders today, and of course India has many millions of coders and IT specialists who market their skills widely on the internet," he told V3.
One in four UK firms now recruit IT talent from overseas, and Sir Clive said that one reason for the country's skills shortage is the "ludicrous situation" that no scientists operate at the highest levels of government.
"We never seem to have any scientists in the Cabinet. The last time I checked - during the coalition government - there wasn't a single science graduate in the Cabinet. I don't know if that's still the case today but it wouldn't surprise me," he said.
"How can our country hope to capitalise on the scientific and technological skills of our people if there aren't a goodly number of scientists at Cabinet level? In an era when science and technology are so terribly important, it's a ludicrous situation."
Sir Clive believes that the situation has become "easier and harder" since his day in terms of opportunities for the manufacture of innovative new products, like the inventor's early ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum home computing machines.
"Easier, because the cost of taking a product to manufacture has come down, relatively speaking, with the help of technologies such as 3D printing," he said.
"But harder because there are so many new products being launched each year that the competition is much stiffer than it was in the 80s."
Sir Clive found it "sad" that the UK has declined in terms of producing the kind of expert coders that pioneered programming in the days of his ZX Spectrum computer.
"We've certainly gone backwards. In the 1980s, Britain was the world leader in coding for children, and the government should have put computing on the school syllabus then, not wait decades to do it," he said.
"I feel very sad that it happened that way. We could now still be a world leader, but many other countries have embraced coding and IT in their education systems considerably more than we have done."
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