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IBM qualification courses rolled out in Scottish universities

IBM has introduced qualification courses for its Power systems and System z mainframes throughout Scottish universities and colleges.

IBM has introduced qualification courses for its Power systems and System z mainframes throughout Scottish universities and colleges.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) partnered with IBM to help develop new IT skills among the future generation of IT professionals.

Gary Kildare, IBM vice-president in Scotland, said: "There is a greater demand for technical skills entering the job market. Our clients have told us that they need these skills to help run and build their organisations and students want IBM certification on their CVs."

Supplier qualifications could help meet employers' demands. IT industry trade association Intellect recently called on the government to scrap IT lessons from the national curriculum.

"Take-up of IT courses is falling and the basic IT skills being generated by the education system are not meeting learners' or employers' needs. Technology companies often have to spend considerable time upskilling new employees as a result," said John Hoggard, programme manager at Intellect.

In February 2011, an Open University (OU) study found IT graduates with technical know-how lacked business skills.

The study called on universities and higher education providers to work with employers to develop graduates' academic and technical expertise through work-based learning.

IBM courses will be available for free to institutions through individual teacher membership for the start of the new academic year in September 2011. Postgraduate students and employed IT professionals will also have access to the courses.

Course material for IBM System i operators was offered in 2007 to 43 colleges in Scotland.

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