A VISIT by an IT company founders to the Robot Club at St Nicholas Catholic High School could be the start of an effective link between the industry and educators, says company director Jamie Campbell.

Mr Campbell and co-director Stephen Powell, founders of Runcorn-based software development company d3t Ltd, believe the more both sides know about the other the more effective they will be in identifying the skills and characteristics which make up the ideal IT job candidates.

The businessmen met staff and more than 20 pupils at the school’s twice-weekly Robot Club, which enables youngsters to design, build and programme their own plastic robots.

Mr Campbell and Mr Powell gave a talk about their careers, which includes experience in the computer games sector, and talked about the career opportunities in the IT industry and the skills and qualifications employers were looking for.

“The pupils were attentive and clearly interested in learning more,” said Campbell.

“Knowing from experience how difficult it can be to locate and employ the right IT staff, I support any move that will improve communication between our industry and the education sector.

“Our company has flown in potential candidates from Spain and Ireland in a bid to identify suitably qualified and able staff, so anything that improves access to the right people has my backing.

“I also want to thank my co-director’s daughter Emily, who is a 14- year-old pupil at this school and who suggested the visit.”

Stephen Powell, who lives in Northwich, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been given the opportunity to visit and meet the Robot Club pupils. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship enabling us to share ideas and experiences for the benefit of all.”

The school’s computing and IT subject leader, Ian Hanson, said the club was extremely popular with pupils, not only with those studying computing and IT.

He said: “We are really grateful for the time and support d3t have offered, and this will be a good opportunity for our students to get an idea of what computing and programming is like in the real world.”