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The IT industry is trying to shed its "geeky" image among schoolchildren in a bid to attract more youngsters into the sector.

Industry group, e-skills UK, has launched an education initiative to coincide with the start of the new school year to promote a positive, exciting and up-to-date image of IT to secondary school students.

Aimed at 13 and 14-year-olds the IT Schools Workshops consist of interactive sessions and involve inviting youngsters into the workplace.

Said Anne Cantelo, project director at e-skills UK. "Research has shown that many people, particularly women, are put off a career in IT primarily because of its poor image. The notion that IT is geeky and untrendy tends to be formed around the age of 13 years and is very difficult to change later on in life."

Dell is among the first companies to promote the workshops at its European and UK headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire, and will provide a further 10 sessions in the coming year.

For more information about the Schools Workshops programme, contact Melody Hermon at e-skills UK on 07810 508056 or melody.hermon@e-skills.com. ®

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