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Clubs to Attract More Girls into IT


Some of the world's largest employers gathered this week with the Secretary of State for Education and Skills to launch a programme aimed at encouraging girls into considering careers in technology.

Following an award-winning pilot, the scheme Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G) is being rolled out nationally to 3,600 English schools.

Developed by e-skills UK, the employer-led organisation responsible for IT skills development, it has the backing of companies such as Cisco, IBM, EDS, Ford Motor Company and British Airways. Software companies including Serif, Gael and Idigicon have agreed to donate leading-edge software to the programme.

The clubs aim to prove that technology is fun by giving girls the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities from designing their own celebrity posters or magazine covers, creating a fashion show or mixing music.

Karen Price, CEO of e-skillsUK, said: "At the moment, women make up only 20 per cent of the IT workforce. Add to this the fact that only 20 per cent of those undertaking IT-related degree courses are women. We need more women to consider technology-led careers and to do so we need to show young girls what an exciting and varied career they can have. CC4G is fundamental to our economic competitiveness. We want more businesses to support CC4G."

Some 3,500 girls have been involved in the CC4G pilot pioneered by the South East England Development Agency and over two-thirds of these said they would be more likely to consider a career in technology after participating in the club.

Brian McBride, Managing Director of T-Mobile, one of the companies backing the clubs, said: "CC4G is one of the most exciting projects to address IT skills amongst young people that I have ever seen. The project is a valuable and successful way of fulfilling technology employers' long-term need for a diverse, skilled and motivated work force."

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA, said that all the schools involved in the south-east pilot felt that IT confidence levels were improved as a result of the clubs.

"Our next challenge - after rolling this out nationwide - is to build the pathway from 14-years onwards with appropriate and attractive courses for these girls. And then address the needs of boys too," he added.

CC4G is a key component of e-skills UK's three-year action plan for IT skills, the Sector Skills Agreement for IT (SSA for IT).

Employers can get involved in CC4G at


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