White paper delivers, says E-Skills


White paper delivers, says E-Skills

Bill Goodwin
Last month's government skills white paper will give employers unprecedented influence in shaping the future of IT training in the UK, the head of public private training body E-Skills UK said this week.

The white paper lays the groundwork for a series of national initiatives designed to boost the skills of the UK workforce and to provide employers with the skilled staff they need.

"The skills white paper gives unprecedented influence to employers and for the first time puts them in the driving seat in determining what qualifications they need and how they should be delivered," said Karen Price, chief executive of E-Skills UK.

The government's National Employer Training Programme, announced in the white paper, will provide free work-based basic IT training to staff in small and medium-sized firms.

The paper also proposed an IT Skills Academy - a specialist college that will work with employers to train youngsters and adults in the IT skills demanded by industry and develop IT training ciricula and qualifications.

Further initiatives will be unveiled later this month when E-Skills UK publishes the final version of its IT skills action plan, dubbed the Sector Skills Agreement.

Plans include better IT-related careers material for youngsters at school and an extension of the Computer Clubs for Girls initiative, which is helping to encourage young women to consider careers in IT.

"The future of business in the UK depends upon its ability to exploit IT effectively for competitive advantage - and this requires skills at a much higher level," said Price.

"E-Skills will be focusing on developing these skills in our work with employers, educators and government."

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