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IT training it the UK must change fundamentally if it is to remain relevant to British business. Falling numbers of students taking computing A levels and increasing use of offshoring means there are fewer entry-level jobs and less people to fill them.

According to software firm Mercury Interactive, this will lead to division between highly specialised UK technical jobs and more business-focused software development. It forecasts that employers will look for people with experience in creating systems for specific business needs rather than skills in certain types of software development.

David Harrison,UK MD of Mercury, told The Register: "There needs to be more encouragement at schools, it's disappointing to see the numbers falling. IT is something that everyone needs to understand to some extent - not just people looking at IT as a career.

"Most businesses don't appreciate IT because it is too far away - they need to be more closely aligned - if it's not aligned it will be offshored." ®

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