UK.gov and UK.biz pour £60m into IT skills gap
Your timing is impeccable
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. ®
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.
I think I'm in a good position to comment here seeing as I'm stuck in an awkward spot.. I've just taken my first MCP and passed, and it seemed (to me, anyway) to have some sensible questions in it (70-271, Supporting users & troubleshooting XP.) I'm trying to get into a decent career but wherever I look I see ads for courses that cost a ton and promise the moon on a stick; the exam cost my employer £88! I'm happy where I am, learning to muck around with servers, network infrastructure and all the fun stuff, but I'm looking for meaningful qualifications that will actually count for something, instead of coming across as just another guy who's done an MCSE but doesn't actually know how to configure a TCP/IP connection. Can anyone recommend a good way of doing this? I'm aiming for getting certs as I actually learn about the subject matter by doing hands-on work, but am definitely open to suggestions.
Stop icon because I jabber too much!
Steve B has it spot on
Having been unemployed for several years and a passing interests in all things computing, I have done several government sponsored courses, the last one being CLAIT in 2000. The computers were running Windows 95 along with ancient versions of Word, Access and Excel the whole qualification (the exam pieces) were completed in 45 minutes. The course itself was for 2 weeks, but I left in 2 days having completed the exercises as well. I mentioned to the rather nice lady in charge that she "was preaching to the converted" as I had already bought a PC and was learning the stuff as I went along. The absolute basics can be taught in about 10 minutes (ie moving the mouse around and opening programs) and it is this that govt thinks turns everyday folk into the next Bill Gates. I can knock up a basic website (should I want to) and did some webmaster work as a volunteer. Currently funded courses are getting a bit more meaty in terms of content due to commercial sponsorship, but cost comes into play. You can do £1000 Cisco entry course, but this excludes the £6000 CCNA part that employers want(?). This is a huge problem that cannot be sorted out easily due to bailouts of banks and other mess that the govt has created. As for AC's list above, very little of it will figure in any govt based programmes. Back in 1998 when our Mr B was Chancellor, he announced PC training for those that wanted it (ie myself), but, after costing MCSE, MCP courses (around 10 grand at the time) this quietly faded into nothing, until now. Hoohoo, £60 million.
Those with knowledge of the stuff on AC's list can laugh at ECDL here: http://bcs.org/
"144,000/yr" ? That's the number of JWs that (they think) will go to Heaven. Coincidence? I think not. Now where did I leave that pamphlet?
There is no skills shortage, just ....
lack of intelligence in the management and agency hiring strategies.
I have been about a long detailed time and MS/CISCO specific qualifications are just that. Never had the business need or requirement to get them but now I need a job, I can't get past the Agencies because the employer insists on the qualification.
It is like Ferrari refusing to employ Lewis Hamilton because he has no previous experience of driving a Ferrari F1 car, and then complaining there is a shortage of F1 drivers.
Unfortunately, the old maxim "rise to the limit of your ineptitude" has really taken root in this country and so it is easier to complain about a lack of talent and have someone else to blame than to actually understand the requirements and invest in people who can actually do the job.
When I enquire about government IT training for the unemployed so I can get a job all that is available is the ecdl tosh..
People have actually heard of Ubuntu, and of all the distros it's the most similar to Debian (since it is basically just a customised Debian with a different GUI layer and a newer kernel; well, I'm not afraid of a bash prompt and I know how to compile my own kernels).
So although I am a diehard Debian user (I outgrew Mandriva and its limited RPM repositories while it was still called Mandrake, and didn't think Gentoo was special enough -- though it's probably what I'd have chosen if I'd picked it before Debian), I always ask for kit that is known to work with Ubuntu. And then I can be fairly sure it's going to work with Debian.