Network

This month’s network

Industry support is vital to NTO efforts

The UK is in danger of exporting its IT industry, with grave consequences.

To retain and increase the prosperity of the economy, a dramatic improvement
in the availability and quality of technical and business skills among the UK
workforce is needed.

The key objectives of the e-skills NTO, as outlined in its strategic plan,
are to radically improve the image of careers in IT, improve links between
industry and educators to ensure the high employability of the workforce,
generate an internationally respected IT qualification and create a population
competent in, and enthusiastic about, IT.

In the 15 months since its inception, the e-skills NTO has made significant
steps towards delivering on these objectives. Backed by leading organisations,
including EDS, IBM, BT Cellnet, Ericsson and ICL, it has developed the Skills
Framework for the Information Age, which provides a map to the skills and
competencies required in IT and telecoms. SFIA can assist with a range of HR
needs, including individual/team assessment, career planning, skills audit and
future skills planning.

Other projects include the e-skills Graduate Apprenticeship, which provides
a flexible training structure combining a degree, soft key skills and IT
professional competence – based on the national occupational standards set by
the e-skills NTO on behalf of industry – and the Prove You Can Do IT project,
which has linked vendor qualifications such as Microsoft, Cisco and Novell with
NVQs/SVQs, and showed how they complement each other.

Great work is being done to meet the aims and objectives of the e-skills
NTO’s strategic plan, but only with continued support will the UK industry be
able to stand tall as an internationally respected technology innovator.

Terry Watts
Chief operating officer, e-skills NTO

How we can fulfil the desire to learn

I was inspired by your Editor’s Comment on workplace learning (October).

Learning is a deep and powerful human instinct that takes considerable
effort to stifle, but so many organisations seem to manage this!

Tom Peters once challenged a group of executives to find out what their
employees did outside work. He speculated that they would discover that most
are passionate, engaged, creative, enthusiastic, giving, hard-working and smart
– apart from the eight hours when they are at work!

People want to learn. They want to grow. Most of all they want to do a good
job. They want to help their organisation/employer perform better.

Training, learning, education, personal development, coaching are the oxygen
of ideas. Managers can provide the light necessary for ideas to grow.

My top tips for creating an enthusiasm for learning?

– Give recognition to those who learn

– Managers should lead by example but workplace peers are powerful role
models

– Encourage diversity in learning. Creativity often comes from the most
unexpected sources

– Managers should be valued by the value they add to their people.

David Exeter
A Die-Hard Learning Evangelist

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