IT's future: Bring your own PC-tablet-phone to work

Out with the old, stuffy ways of doing things, in with a new generation of tech workers?

...businesses can't just put their heads in the sand and hope kids will start toeing the line. When the CEO of Facebook slops around in flip-flops and a T-shirt, the expectations of a new generation are there for all to see - along with Mark Zuckerberg's toes.

"These are the people who are developing their own businesses, who are going to be at Silicon Roundabout and a whole generation of technology skills are being used in a different way," said Intellect's Henderson. "Is there a part of the current generation who look at [conventional businesses] and think, 'Well, actually, that's not for me but I do have these skills [and will take them elsewhere]'."

Dr Keiichi Nakata, reader in social informatics at Henley Business School at the University of Reading, who was also at the roundtable, said the university has heard feedback from students who have met companies for interviews and been "very surprised" that technologies they use every day are not being utilised inside those businesses.

"They almost feel disillusioned in a way by the prospect of working for that company because they seem to lose the opportunities and freedom and knowledge they already have - which will not be valued in that company," he said.

"On the one hand, universities or the skills provider should make an effort to make our students employable - at the same time, there's also effort required from companies and organisations to attract these skills, and the knowledge that potentially these younger generation people have," he added.

Another issue discussed at the roundtable was the role outsourcing has played in making it more difficult for UK employers to find the IT skills they need.

"It's those low rungs on the IT ladder - those jobs that have gone offshore," said e-skills UK's Lux. As a result, she said the organisation is focusing on initiatives aimed at fostering "project-based learning" skills, so a new generation of tech workers can gain broader skills and plug into the UK IT job market as project managers.

Getronics' Parks added: "I think the job profile's changing as well, with the advent of online services and cloud computing. If you look at that, then the role of the administrator is disappearing. Those types of roles have been radically changed in organisations. We're looking for architects now, we're not looking for administrators. There's nothing to administer anymore. So I think there's a really big gap [in the UK IT job market] there.

"Teaching the admin jobs, teaching the lower-rung roles are not relevant anymore because those roles have disappeared very, very quickly - all the commodity services don't require those type of services."