E-Skills rethinks girls' computing programme

E-Skills UK is evolving the way in which employers can get involved with its flagship Computer Club for Girls (CC4G) programme, which aims to encourage high-school-age girls to consider a career in IT.

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E-Skills UK is evolving the way in which employers can get involved with its flagship Computer Club for Girls (CC4G) programme, which aims to encourage high-school-age girls to consider a career in IT.

"We have become aware that not all employers find the existing ‘employer volunteer’ scheme easy to participate in. Having listened to feedback, we are now phasing out volunteering and introducing new, exciting ways of linking with schools," E-Skills UK said in a note circulated to participating organisations.

Employers who wish to keep volunteering will be able to do so alongside the new initiatives being introduced. These initiatives include Bring a Girl to Work, which asks that employers enable their employees to bring a family member or friend to work for the day to gain an insight into the world of work.

The programme is also asking that participating firms consider donating to or sponsoring schools to get involved in CC4G, and that individuals consider becoming facilitators running CC4G Clubs in local schools.

Non-profit employer-led organisation E-Skills UK created CC4G in June 2005 to help transform the attitude of 10- to 14-year-old girls to careers in IT.

Margaret Sambell, head of strategy for E-Skills UK, said the programme was very successful and the changes should help to maintain that success. She said more than 94,000 UK school girls had enrolled with the clubs and there had been 3,500 employer interactions with school clubs to date.

"The schools love it because girls are performing better not only in IT but in other areas of the curriculum, too. The girls love it because they get to use technology to solve exciting challenges," said Sambell.

The E-Skills UK board comprises the CEOs and heads of IT from leading organisations across the UK, including Accenture, BBC, British Airways, BT Global Services, Cable & Wireless, Carphone Warehouse, EDS, Fujitsu and HP.

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