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E-Skills UK is the national skills council for IT, telecoms and contact centres. It brings together the government, employers and the education sector with the aim of improving skills and boosting productivity.
The organisation oversees a number of projects, including computer clubs for girls and the web-based E-Skills Passport Service. It is also involved in the development of the new IT management for business BSc degree, which will be piloted in 2005 and then offered by UK universities.
Executives and senior IT directors from firms such as Accenture, Dell, John Lewis, Morgan Stanley and Sainsbury's already sit on E-Skills UK's three employer boards.
l In the same week that Hirst was appointed chairman of E-Skills UK, firms in the IT sector were being encouraged to enter the 2004 National Training Awards.
The awards, which are managed by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills, recognise people and organisations that have developed new skills and reward excellence in training.
Last year's awards attracted more than 1,000 entries from a range of industries. Winners in the IT and telecoms sector included BT and Nortel Networks' Belfast Lab.
The deadline for entries to this year's National Training Awards is 30 April