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Home > News > Industry News > Autumn Budget 2017: Investment.....

Autumn Budget 2017: Investment in computer teaching welcomed by Microsoft

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-11-23
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s bid to improve the teaching of computing in schools has been welcomed by the tech sector following today’s Budget speech

The Chancellor plans to triple the number of fully-qualified computer science teachers from 4,000 to 12,000.

Cindy Rose, UK CEO, Microsoft, comments:

“We welcome the announcement by the Chancellor to triple the number of fully-qualified computer science teachers from 4,000 to 12,000. There is an urgent need for the UK to tackle its digital skills gap and use technology to nurture the creativity already present in the next generation.”

But Rose warned that teachers will need more support to deliver the plans laid out today in the Budget.

“They need the skills to pass on to their students, the tools to enable them to engage young minds, the freedom to experiment in class and find the best way to engage youngsters, and the professional support to ensure they can get help if they need it,” said Rose.

techUK deputy CEO, Antony Walker, also welcomed the government’s new skills initiative.

“We are pleased to see the Chancellor’s package of £100 million to expand teaching of computing in schools. techUK has been flagging the urgent need for additional funding since 2014.

Walker also highlighted the importance of the Chancellor’s commitment to provide new  funding for 5G, AI, connectivity on trains and infrastructure for electric vehicle charging.

“We welcome the significant package of investment into the technologies of the future, including £500m to support AI, broadband and 5G; £30m for better connectivity on trains; £1.7bn for the Transforming Cities Fund; and £1bn to support high value infrastructure.”

There was also an increase in R&D spending of £2.3bn moving it closer to the target of 2.4% of GDP spend on research by 2027.

Lawrence Jones, CEO of tech firm UKFast believes the Budget indicates that the government is listening to the tech sector.

Jones, writes:

“It’s fantastic that the government is investing £500 million directly into tech for AI, 5G and full-fibre broadband; it’s needed.

“The Chancellor is backing it up with more investment into training a further 8,000 computer science teachers, to nurture home-grown talent and help plug the digital skills shortage in the UK.

“Tech is the future. I know there are the naysayers that believe AI is going to take our jobs, but look at the many ways tech has changed our lives for the better.”