Careers in IT for jobless thanks to ‘smart solution’

new partnership between the Government and business has been set up to help
5,000 unemployed workers into high-skilled, well-paid jobs in the IT sector.

IT, launched last week by Chancellor Gordon Brown, is designed to increase the IT
skill levels of New Deal participants and to help tackle the skills shortage in
the sector.

£50m three-year pilot was set up to help unemployed people and lone parents
access technician jobs in IT and take up ICT training, and also allows New Deal
providers to bid for resources to test innovative ICT solutions.

said, “Ambition IT is the smart solution for business looking for skilled
employees and for the country as a whole. It gives hope to the unemployed,
tackles skills shortages and shows us preparing for the new economy.

five years’ time, 90 per cent of jobs will need IT skills, compared with 70 per
cent today and just 25 per cent in 1992.”

taking part in the initiative include Cisco Systems, FI Group, IBM, Siemens,
Cap Gemini, Oracle and Microsoft. The scheme follows on from the creation of
the e-skills Employers’ Charter, which was set up to try to tackle the IT
skills shortage in the UK (News, 20 March).

Holloway, managing director of Microsoft, said, “By targeting unemployed and
other disadvantaged people it (Ambition IT) will have the added advantage of
building a digitally inclusive society and releasing untapped potential which
can help address the UK IT skills gap.”

staff risk being pushed out

Institute for the Management of Information Systems claims IT professionals
with 10 or 15 years’ experience risk being pushed out of the jobs market
because their employers are not willing to invest in continued training.

Virgo, strategic adviser for the institute, which represents 11,000 IT
professionals, said too many employers offer cross-training in new IT skills to
a select group of high-flying IT employees only. He said, “Those flagged as
high-fliers get the cross-training. Those who are not high-fliers or not in
employment cannot get the training unless they pay for it themselves.”

Ben Willmott

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