Experts warn that UK employers are facing a shortage of computer science skills

More young people should be encouraged to study computer science courses, experts have claimed.

Trade association TIGA, which represents the UK games industry, said employers are facing a shortage of computer science skills.

This could potentially harm employment and future growth in the technology industry, TIGA said.

TIGA - whose members include independent and in-house games developers alongside top employers such as games publishers and universities - has called for the appointment of a new body to advise companies on the best ways to tackle the current computer skills shortage.

The group has released a paper entitled Higher Education at Work which also calls on education institutions to help tackle the problem by focusing on improving standards in courses such as maths, physics and computer science.

It comes as a new report by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee warns that too few students are graduating with degrees in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and maths.

TIGA said it had previously recommended in 2008 that games developers should be involved in education, and it had also called for the introduction of tax credits for training.

Dr Richard Wilson, chief executive officer of TIGA, said the group was "dismayed" that the skills shortage had not yet been addressed.

Dr Wilson said: "There has been a recommendation that all pupils are forced to study maths beyond the age of 16 but we feel it would be better to encourage students to choose maths beyond this point.

"And the way to do that is to show pupils the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths and to consult with companies such as video game developers so that the teaching is focused and relevant.

"There have been great steps taken recently in boosting computer science such as making it part of the school curriculum. The Raspberry Pi computer is also an important and intriguing development.

"But it dismays us that the need to address the skill shortage was noted some years ago and that we are still trying to resolve it. We have lost a generation of potential."

Copyright Press Association 2012