Dear Mr Schmidt

COMMENT:The UK is in dire need of more people entering the workforce with IT-related skills. Of that we are sure.

We are also sure that less and less people want to study technology, maths and science subjects at school, whether GCSE, A- or degree level. We get that's where we are. But how do we change that?

One has to hand it to Google. It is an innovative company. It's done more than a little well for itself and its executives are largely respected by those inside and outside of this industry. However, former chief executive Eric Schmidt made many in the tech sector a little miffed this week.

It's not widely known, but the world's first office computer was built in 1951 by Lyons' chain of tea shops. Yet today, none of the world's leading exponents in these fields are from the UK.

Yes Sir, we agree with what you said. The UK education system does need to do more to encourage today's kids to get excited about tech. However, we're still recovering from - some would argue still in the midst of - a recession and budget cuts are the norm all around us. The education sector is having less, rather than more, money put into it on a daily basis. So how do we get from where we all know we are to where we want to be.

We need people like you, in industry, not just to speak up but to help champion the cause. Granted, Google and other big name tech giants have done their bit in recent years. But as we face cuts everywhere, we need more. Call us demanding, but it's in your interests to encourage more people to study tech too. After all, these are your future employees we're talking about.

Zurich infographic

Insurance giant Zurich published a report earlier this week looking at future technology challenges. Unsurprisingly, more than half (57 per cent) of mid-size businesses are scared of losing their key staff. The first reason is obvious: those people are the ones in the know in terms of the lifeblood of their organisation. The second reason is they fear being able to replace them.

"A lot of innovation historically has spun out of universities. We need to make people realise studying these courses [is beneficial] in order to keep this up," Zurich's Geoff White said, who added that companies need to do their bit in terms of remuneration and development incentives for attracting and retaining staff.

"We allow inventions to then go overseas Ultimately we as a country need to promote companies that are growing and ensure when a company reaches a certain size it is not encouraged to go overseas and be acquired," White added.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.