Logicalis has put its weight behind the Advanced IT Apprenticeship, as part of a move designed to plug the skills gap and develop mainframe expertise.
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The channel player will provide students with remote access to IBM z Series mainframe in order to gain experience and put up some of its staff to help with lectures.
Martin Boakes, system z practice manager at Logicalis said that the growing popularity of the mainframe was causing a requirement for anew set of skills that could react to the demand for the technology.
“As a private company, Logicalis is able to apportion a section of its working mainframe free of charge, and contribute to the teaching of technical and business skills,” he said.
Having announced the course a total of eighteen students will begin the two-year course in September and will gain an IT Professional NVQ with supporting IT and Financial certification on completion. After that a further 20 students will be recruited every year.
There has been a growing trend to encourage apprenticeships with several resellers operating schemes that plug skills gaps in the storage and networking markets.
Despite the downturn and the recent Home Office indications it will limit the entry into the UK market of foreign IT workers Tom Kelly, managing director of Logicalis, said that the skills issue remained a major one.
“British industry, renowned for its IT, engineering, and science expertise, is facing a skills time bomb that could hit both the economy and employability of the next generation. It’s critical that private industry and educators collaborate to promote the opportunities and career prospects available,” he said.