The European Social Forum is subsidising IT training courses aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises in London use IT more effectively.
ICT4SMEs is a three-stage programme beginning with an IT “health check” to assess the current IT capacity of each small business.
The second stage offers training in how to set up networks, wireless technology and tackling IT security threats. The programme’s third stage leads to industry recognised qualifications in these areas.
Viren Punjani, managing director at eCademy, which will provide the training, said, “Smaller businesses are often not clear on how to set up networks so they can share data. They are also a bit hesitant to connect wirelessly to the internet, or they are worried that someone could hijack their data.”
The training is aimed particularly at the smaller end of the SME market which Punjani said “desperately needs the support”.
“It would “improve the efficiency of businesses and communications between their staff,” he said.
The aim of the programme is to help SMEs develop their IT use to a level that is self-sustainable, cuts costs and streamlines processes, Punjani said.
The ICT4SMEs programme is co-financed by the European Social Forum through the central London Learning and Skills Council and costs £300 plus VAT per person. This is a subsidised rate that organisers estimate will save businesses up to £2,500 per person in training and examination costs.
To be eligible, firms must have fewer than 250 employees and be based in one of seven central London boroughs.