The group made the move as its members believe that children who leave school without good IT skills will be significantly disadvantaged in the race for jobs. "It's going to be as important as reading, writing and arithmetic," says David Taylor, president of Certus.
To help promote the importance of IT and demystify the role it plays in business, he says Certus is appealing to Britain's 3,500 IT directors to form partnerships with schools. "If every IT director allocated two hours a month to going to their local school it would really bridge the gap between industry and education."
Teachers could also undertake placements in the companies' IT departments, Taylor says. The campaign will also try to dispel the idea that IT is only for "anoraks" and repair the damage done to the sector's reputation by negative publicity about the Millennium Bug.