MP Steve Baker praised the role of apprenticeships and training schemes during a visit to a High Wycombe-based IT firm.

Wycombe’s MP toured Allied Worldwide’s UK base in Bridge Street on Friday to meet the youngsters on the firm’s degree-level IT apprenticeship scheme.

Mr Baker identified with the problems caused by a gap in IT skills during his time as a software engineer and paid tribute to Allied’s training programme.

He said: “It was always hard to recruit the right people - the first place that I worked was a start-up and you just couldn’t afford to have people without the correct skills for the job.

“The most astonishing transformation has taken place since I was a child; computers are used for everything now.

“Unless there was some kind of cataclysm we are always going to need computers. With the current rate of advance in software and in hardware, to have IT skills is to equip yourself for the future.”

In recent changes to the school curriculum, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is being replaced with Computing.

Children as young as young as five will be taught how to write and test simple programmes, and internet safety will be covered in primary schools.

Allied’s Managing Director Meg Fisher spoke to Mr Baker about the opportunities on offer to youngsters.

She said: “Unfortunately there just aren’t enough companies giving opportunities like this.

"What we’re doing here is just the beginning; we all need to be doing more.”

For more information about Allied's IT apprenticeship scheme,