Welsh Minister will help computing girls reach for the stars
The Minister will present the top 10 'IT Girls' in Wales with their awards at a ceremony in their honor in Cardiff in September. The 10 will be selected on the basis of their results in this year's 'A' Level Computing examination.
She presented the Awards in their inaugural year in 2001. The 'A' Star Awards are aimed at encouraging more women to take up careers in Information Technology and redress a serious skills shortage in the industry.
The awards are an initiative by Edinburgh-based Axios Systems Ltd, a world leader in Help Desk and IT Service Management software. They are being run under the auspices of e-skills, the UK umbrella body for IT skills competitions whose members include the British Computer Society and leading companies in the industry.
The top female computing student in Wales will receive a check for £250 and trophy with the top two girls going forward to the final to find the top UK female computing student for 2002. Prizes there will include a laptop computer and an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA.
Ailsa Symeonides, Sales & Marketing Director of Axios Systems, said she was delighted to have the Minister's support again. "Government backing of the Awards is vital in helping to highlight the lack of women in computing," she commented.
"IT plays a fundamental and crucial role in businesses - large and small - and contributes to their competitiveness and success. The industry has a growing demand for skilled labor and encouraging more women to join it will alleviate the skills shortage and bring benefits to businesses."
Jane Davidson said: "It is wonderful to see that young women are doing particularly well in computing and technology. These Awards highlight the wealth of talent we have here in Wales and shows that women can, and do, play an important role in Information Communication Technology (ICT).
"In order for Wales to prosper and have an advanced, diverse and dynamic economy, girls and boys need to leave school with the technological skills needed in today's world and tomorrow's workplace."
Derec Stockley, Examinations Secretary at Welsh examination awarding body WJEC added: “The WJEC is very pleased to see the arrival of the second year of the successful ‘A Star’ Awards and to participate in the aim of furthering the entrance of women into computing and ICT".
The Awards are supported by all six major examination bodies throughout the UK and the top two students from each of these in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland will also take part in the grand final. This year's competition is being co-sponsored by Accenture, the world's leading management and technology services organization, and Ford Motor Company.
On reaching the UK final, each of the 12 candidates will take part in a tie-breaker competition, held over the Internet and judged by an independent panel of experts which will include a representative of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Axios Systems is a leading provider of Best Practice-based IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions. Our customer-centric approach combined with our award-winning solutions, ensure customers worldwide can align their Service and Support organizations with the overall business goals. Our core solution, assyst, intuitively steers users through the ITIL® processes. Axios Global Services provides a range of consulting, project management and training services. Our commitment to Best Practice is demonstrated through being the first to achieve BS 15000 certification which has now become, ISO/IEC 20000, the International standard for ITSM. Axios is headquartered in the UK, with offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.