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UK.gov and UK.biz pour £60m into IT skills gap

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The government today announced that it will spend £30m to create a National Skills Academy for IT, in an attempt to train more of the workers employers are demanding.

The Academy will be run by e-Skills, an technology industry lobby that will match public spening on the Academy. e-Skills pushes the line that training should be led by employers in order to build a competitive economy. It says the UK needs 141,000 new IT workers every year.

Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills minister John Denham said: "A new National Skills Academy for IT will help build a world-beating workforce that will improve productivity and competitiveness – not just among new recruits but within the existing workforce."

The Academy is scheduled to open its doors next year. BT was on hand to welcome the launch. Head of learning Peter Butler said: "We are delighted that the government has acknowledged the important role that the IT and Telecoms sector plays in the success of UK PLC and is supporting the further development of the National Skills Academy."

The IT Academy will offer employers "high quality, cost-effective programmes" and links to trusted training providers. It'll try to influence curricula on employers' behalf.

It is one of four training new National Skills bodies being launched today. The government is committed to opening one for every major industry. ®

Bootnote

The National Skills Academy for Enterprise is to be fronted by Dragons' Den millionaire Peter Jones, currently trousering large fees for appearing in BT ads that encourage small businesses to outsource IT.

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