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Miners and homeless to fill UK IT skills shortage

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In the coconut shy that is the UK Government's e-strategy, Michael Wills (technology minister) has tossed a 25 million computer training ball. This time he's really stretching himself and is trying to hit the endemic miner unemployment problem in Nottinghamshire and the homeless problem of London.

That's right, former miners in the Midlands and the Big Smoke's homeless will be encouraged to sign up for free computer courses - worth 400 each. With the essential skills they learn they will then shoot straight into IT jobs, earn good money, reduce the tax burden on the Government and build a kind of Utopia right here in England. Pixies and fairies are not entitled to apply since they don't exist.

But while this scheme is unlikely to be very successful, and few will go on it for reasons other than keeping their dole money or to get food and shelter during the day, we don't begrudge the Government spending the money. The fact is that there is no easy way to get long-term unemployed back into the nasty habit of going to work every day.

We do wonder though just how much teaching you actually get for 400? Not much, surely. Does this mean ex-miners will be forced to take jobs in offices armed only with limited knowledge of Microsoft Word? Should prove interesting. ®

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