British Airways information chief calls for IT training to be integral part of all university courses

Universities should include IT training in every degree course to ensure that future generations of managers and employees understand the business potential of technology, according to the most senior IT professional at British Airways.

Paul Coby, chief information officer at the airline, said managers and staff need to have a strong understanding of the business benefits of IT if the UK is to maintain a strong competitive edge,

“One of the things I am very keen on is that if you want to operate in a FTSE 500 company, you ought to understand technology,” he said.

“It does not mean that you need to understand technical software programs, but you do need to understand how to use IT,” he said.

Coby, newly appointed chairman of the chief information officer board of sector skills council E-Skills UK, revealed that BA has set a target for each member of its IT staff to get eight days of training a year to help meet the needs of the business.

“We are taking staff in groups of 15 and assessing where they have potential and moving them into new technology areas,” he said. “We are growing people to become business managers, project managers and data architects.”

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