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BCS welcomes publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy

28 November 2017 - BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, welcomes the publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.


The White Paper covers a wide range of topics affecting the tech sector - not just for its value to the UK economy, but also for its potential to change the world for the better. BCS, with its ambition to make IT good for society, has specific comments on the aspects of the Strategy covering AI, Education, Digital Inclusion and Data.


As was outlined in the Autumn Budget, the Institute welcomes the government’s decision to utilise £84m over the next five years to deliver a comprehensive programme to improve the teaching of computing and drive up participation in computer science, and is very encouraged the fact that this will focus on girls.


The Institute welcomes the Government’s commitment to propel Britain to global leadership of the industries of the future and to create a digital economy that can be accessed by all, and is keen to see the early implementation of the programmes outlined in the strategy.


BCS is delighted that recommendations made in last month’s independent review on the Artificial Intelligence industry in the UK - by Past BCS President, Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti, CEO, BenevolentTech, have been incorporated into the strategy.


David Evans, Director of Policy at BCS said: “To be effective, capable and safe citizens in this ever-changing digital world, it is essential that every child has access to a high-quality computing education and initiatives such as the introduction of a new National Centre for Computing Education will go some way towards doing this.”


That said, BCS recognises that the digital capabilities ought not to be confined to children. In order to future proof the UK economy, it’s vital that we have the right skills to utilise the economic potential that technology offers. We welcome the forward-thinking initiatives that have been outlined, such as the National Retraining Scheme, which will help people re-skill and up-skill as the economy changes, ensuring they aren’t left behind because of automation.


The Strategy’s focus on reviewing future sectors is a very welcome and sophisticated view of the digital landscape but brings with it new responsibilities. Although the opportunities Big Data offers are many, it’s incredibly important to both improve understanding and enhance public trust in the way in which data is used.


BCS is conducting a series of projects on the above mentioned topics and looks forward to working on this with Government and business in the coming months.