Government backs employer-led skills action plan

The government has announced its support for an employer-backed action plan to ensure that businesses have access to the IT staff they need over the next 10 years.


The E-Skills Sector Skills Agreement, aims to make business and project management skills a central part of IT training and education in the UK.


By working in collaboration with government, universities, colleges and training companies, employers will have an unprecedented opportunity to influence the IT training agenda in the UK, said Ruth Kelly, secretary of state for education and skills.


“For too long, employers have complained that the skills they need in their workforce are not being provided by the education and training system. This is a huge opportunity for businesses to influence and work in partnership with education to create a better skilled workforce,” she said.


The Sector Skills Agreement, the first serious attempt to address underlying weaknesses in the provision of skills that have dogged the IT profession in the UK, has won backing from leading IT users, including Ford, British Airways, Vodafone and John Lewis. Suppliers such as EDS and IBM, universities and IT specialists are also supporting the initiative.


The plan recognises that employers will increasingly demand IT professionals with good business, interpersonal and project management skills, in addition to technical skills, as more basic IT roles are outsourced or transferred offshore.


The government will provide funding to develop a new IT diploma and IT degrees that combine technical training with business and communications skills.


In addition, a network of IT academies will be created to provide accelerated training for practicing IT professionals. They will focus on the business and technical skills that will be needed by employers in the future.


For more on the Skills White Paper, go to www.personneltoday.com/28792.article

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