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There's further evidence that the worst of the downturn experienced by the tech sector in the UK may be over.

The latest bulletin from industry group e-skills predicts that the sector is set to remain flat until the end of the year before seeing a much-welcomed, if modest, up-turn in 2004.

Its survey of surveys - effectively pooling research from a whole host of different sources including the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and other market data - is cautiously upbeat.

While e-skills doesn't stick its neck out, it does say that this quarter's collection of stats "appears to show that the market has at least bottomed out".

"A quick preview of the data …shows a definitive improvement in the stock market for ICT shares and a stable if not declining incidence of company closures amongst ICT firms.

"At the same time, ICT exports are up and private sector investment remains pretty much unchanged since the previous quarter," chirped the bulletin.

All in all, what with stable economic conditions and a following wind, things is looking up. Fingers crossed.

Elsewhere IT industry group Intellect has released a video encouraging women to enter the tech sector.

The Government-backed film, called You can do IT too! covers the careers of five women in the "vibrant" IT sector. Each case study explores how these highly individual women have utilised different aspects of IT to develop flourishing careers, apparently.

Said the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women, Patricia Hewitt: "There are still too few women at the top of UK IT businesses; indeed they are leaving the IT sector faster than they can be recruited.

"This film's ultimate aim is to act as a catalyst to influence and encourage girls and women to think about IT as a career option, as well as targeting employers to acknowledge the importance of creating a business environment that allows them to retain their top talent.

"The women in this film show that IT can offer a rewarding and exciting career. I hope that the campaign makes more women realise that IT isn't just a nerdy career choice, and that they can do IT too," she said.

"Nerdy career choice", Hmmm?

The film can be viewed here. ®

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