A strategic group headed by e-envoy, Alex Allan, has been formed by several national training organisations (NTOs) and the Government to ensure an "integrated approach" to skills development across the various technology sectors in the UK.
At its launch, the group announced a campaign to promote and re-brand the image of careers in IT, electronics and communication (ITEC), particularly targeting women and the "younger generation". Business access to information and support on recruitment, retention and training of staff in high-tech jobs is also planned, as are increased work experience placements and graduate apprenticeship schemes in the industry.
"We are determined to make the UK the best place for e-commerce," says Allan. "Despite all the glamour attracted by some start-ups, the overall image of jobs in IT occupations is poor. A report last year rated computer jobs as the least sexy of all occupations - lower than funeral directors. This ambitious programme drive by NTOs will help change this perception, ensuring Britain has the skills and new talent to thrive in the e-commerce race."
The new group operates as part of the ITEC NTOs and is composed of chief executives of EMTA, the NTO for engineering manufacture; the e-skills NTO for IT; the telecom NTO for the communications sector; and Skillset for broadcast and new media industries.