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Knowledge economy is UK's future, says report

Sector set to contribute half of the UK's GDP by 2010, but overcoming skills shortages still a challenge.

The knowledge economy will contribute 50 per cent of the UK's GDP in the next three years, but only if an ever-worsening skills gap is filled, according to a new report commissioned by Microsoft.

The second Developing the Future (Dtf) report, released at the British Library yesterday, showed that the knowledge economy - the income and jobs created by ICT and other technological and innovative sectors - is the fastest growing sector in the UK.

In addition, private sector investment on intangible asses such as software development and R&D now equals that of tangible, such as physical assets.

The report calls on the government to include computing at the GCSE level rather than just ICT - which studies the use of software and technology, rather than its creation.

As well, the report supports encouraging more women into the sector to help make up for the shortfall. Currently, the IT industry is about 20 per cent female, but only 17 per cent of students are female.

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