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Largest ever survey of top IT professionals and entrepreneurs to be launched at Conference

11th February 2002, Faraday Theatre, Royal Institution, London

What makes a good IT professional brilliant? What makes entrepreneurial spirit? What skills are needed for the careers of the 21st century? How can you identify aptitude and excellence?

Britain’s leading IT professionals and top 150 entrepreneurs have contributed to the unique SCALE 21 SURVEY [Skills Capabilities Aptitude in Learning Environments of the 21st Century], the largest and most comprehensive in-depth analysis of information age skills ever undertaken.

Douglas Alexander MP, Minister of State for e-Commerce & Competitiveness, will give the keynote speech to "Building Britain’s Brainpower", the SCALE 21 Conference at the Royal Institution on Monday February 11th 2002.

The conference is co-ordinated by the Real Time Club Foresight Associate Programme, which was set up to obtain verifiable facts to inform the debate on the long term underlying skills that people need to succeed in a fast changing environment - especially IT professionals and entrepreneurs.

Organisations involved include Office of Science and Technology, DTI, e-skills NTO, The Computer Services & Software Association, Computer Weekly, IT Training and the four computer professional bodies BCS, IEE, IMIS, IAP.

The conference will be of interest to everyone involved in selecting, developing, motivating, and retaining IT specialists and in creating the right environment to stimulate entrepreneurial skills.

For further information and to register a place at the conference ‘Building Britain’s Brainpower’:
Register online at
Fax 020 7592 9138
or write to SCALE21 Reservations, 1 Castle Lane, Victoria, London, SW1E 6DR.
Telephone: 020 7693 8920

Lunch courtesy of the Office of Science & Technology, DTI.

Notes for Editors

Further information about SCALE 21 and quotes from organisations involved follow below.

The Real Time Club, formed in 1967, is Britain's leading group of ICT entrepreneurs.
Its Chairman is Charles Ross.

For media information please contact:
Andy Palmer,
Tel 020 7963 8920


Baroness [Professor Susan] Greenfield. (title) of the Royal Institution:

"We are very pleased to make available the Faraday Theatre here at the Royal Institution in Albermarle Street on Monday 11th February to debate the findings of the three Working Parties. If you can solve the problem of what it takes to be a success in ICT you may have given us a guide to solving the skills shortages across all the science based industries"

Charles Hughes. Vice President Member Services BCS:

"The British Computer Society has been aware for four decades of the huge diversity of backgrounds and talents of Computer Professionals. Understanding the problem is always the first step to organising solutions. The BCS, and particularly the Young Professional Group are enthusiastic participants in this ground-breaking work."

Ian Rickwood Chief Executive, Institute for the management of Information Systems:

"If we can identify some of the abilities successful IT professionals have in common, perhaps we can devise ways of helping young people who have these talents, to realise their potential by choosing computing as a career in which they could be very successful"

John Higgins Director General Computer Services & Software Association:

"Recruiting, motivating and retaining expert IT professionals is the biggest single problem for our industry. Any insights we can achieve into ways of identifying solutions to this problem could be the most important contribution to the ICT industry in the UK."

Michael Ryan, Director General Institution of Analysts and Programmers:

"Intellectual creativity is an essential component of the skills of analysts and programmers. This talent is very difficult to identify and measure; which may account for our problems in recognising and nurturing potential talent."

Brian Collins Vice President, Institution of Electrical Engineers:

"Notwithstanding the current short term downturn, there remains a long term deficit in IT skills. If you can crack this nut you may have given us a key to recognising skills, not only in ICT and engineering generally but also their relationship to modern business."

Karen Price Chief Executive, e-skills National Training Organisation:

"e-skills NTO is delighted with the interest this research is generating."

Edward Wolton Chairman, Young Professionals Group EEEI:

Making Information and Communications Technology more appealing to the business leaders of tomorrow is the objective of the Young Professionals Group - to be able to tie this in with such an exhaustive programme as Scale 21 is fortunate and indeed an honour for the YPG. Being able to identify exactly where we may be going wrong (or right) today will help us create a better legacy for subsequent generations of ICT professionals. By involving not only today's decision makers but young workers in the business, we can recognise the key skills for success in what is still the world's fastest moving industry.

Notes to Editors

SCALE 21 Skills, Capabilities & Aptitude Learning Environment in the 21st Century is a Foresight Associate Programme managed by the Real Time Club and the Office of Science & Technology of the DTI in conjunction with e-skills NTO. There are 3 working parties with 3 researchers and some 40 volunteers in co-operation with 15 organisations.

1. In conjunction with the DfE&S and e-skills NTO, Working Group One is producing an inventory of all the myriad IT courses, qualifications [nearly 1,000 and counting!], examining bodies and initiatives This can form the basis for a "One Stop Shop" web portal to help people who are considering entering IT to investigate the professional opportunities open to them.
Chairman: John O'Sullivan

2. Working Group two, Calibrand, Reed in Partnership and Computer Weekly are directly involving some 150,000 IT professionals in a pathfinder study to seek to identify the underlying skills that have made members of the IT profession successful. Reverse Engineering the assessment process.
Chairman: Denis Saunders

3. The third Working Group is bringing together a large number of successful Entrepreneurs to identify the barriers and impediments they have experienced in the education system and industry; and the various tax and financial measures which discriminate against entrepreneurs, that have unintentionally accumulated over the years. The object is to make it easier for the next generation to create the new, innovative businesses that will underpin the economy in the future.
Chairman: Graham Beswick

Further Information: Denis Saunders Calibrand 017 7371 0717;
Derek Flynn OST 020 7215 6718;
Basil Cousins RTC 020 661 18738;
Terry Watts NTO 020 7963 8920;:
Charles Ross FAP 012 2544 8436.

Organisations associated with SCALE 21

The Real Time Club
Office of Science and Technology, DTI
e-skills NTO
The Computer Services & Software Association
Computer Weekly
IT Training
Calibrand Ltd
Royal Institution
Talent Foundation
Oxford University
London Business School
The Four Computer Professional bodies:-
The British Computer Society [BCS]: Young Professionals Group
Institution of Electrical Engineers [IEE]: Computer division
Institute for the Management of Information Systems [IMIS]
Institution of Analysts and Programmers [IAP]
National Computing Centre
The 21st Century Learning Initiative

The Real Time Club, formed in 1967 is Britain's leading group of entrepreneurs in ICT.
Chairman: Charles Ross

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