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Leitch Review Pledge aiming too low

The relevance of the Leitch Review Skills Pledge to the IT sector is being questioned, with IT professionals needing higher qualifications than it allows for.

Only a small proportion of IT professionals are yet to gain the qualifications set out by the pledge, which commits employers to training all staff to Level 2 - the equivalent of five GCSEs. Just 4% of IT workers have yet to gain five GCSEs, and more than half already have a first degree or higher, says E-skills, the IT industry's sector skills body.

E-skills is discussing the possibility of an "enhanced pledge", aimed at increasing the number of firms that provide high level training for workers.

"Over half (55%) of today's IT and telecoms professionals have achieved first-degree equivalent or higher, and the IT and telecoms sector is a significant investor in employee training," said E-skills CEO, Karen Price.

"We are therefore discussing with employers whether an 'enhanced pledge' might be of interest to our sector - one that encourages the development of higher level skills.

"The current format of the pledge is focused primarily on the achievement of a Level 2 qualification. The majority of the sector's development needs are at higher levels," she said.

Nearly 250 employers have now signed the Leitch Review Skills Pledge, compared with 170 at the time of the launch.

The review, published in 2006, emphasises the importance of skills to the UK economy, but focuses mainly on lower level skills.


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