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Users to benefit from IT training alliance

One of the UK's main IT skills bodies has struck a deal with a leading global IT industry body to align key qualifications they...

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One of the UK's main IT skills bodies has struck a deal with a leading global IT industry body to align key qualifications they offer for those taking their first steps into the industry.

City & Guilds, the UK's leading vocational awarding body, and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), hope the move will provide a path to a globally recognised, vendor-neutral certification.

CompTIA regional director UK and Scandinavia Matthew Poyiadgi said: "This alliance presents the industry with the first recognisable benchmark with which companies can evaluate and assess potential employees, offering IT directors a clear indication of each individual's level of understanding."

The move should also help new entrants to the IT industry who are faced with a bewildering array of training courses.

Under the agreement students who achieve the City & Guilds e-Quals Diploma in Systems Support (Level 2) can sit the CompTIA A+ examination without additional training. Students who could not previously afford to undertake the A+ course can now access the required learning through e-Quals, which is government-funded.

The CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard for validating vendor-neutral skills expected of an entry-level computer technician. Industry giants such as Microsoft, Cisco and IBM have already adopted A+ as a component of their IT training programmes.

"Being able to award a combined learning experience from City & Guilds and CompTIA means that we can now offer students a greater starting point for their careers in IT," said City & Guilds product manager Eleanor Byram.

"A+ is a recognised benchmark within the commercial IT industry, so not only can we now offer a significant stepping stone to vendor-specific certifications, but our link with CompTIA adds to the global credibility of our vendor neutral certifications."

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