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Kingston Comms invests in IT staff development following rebranding

Kingston Communications, winner in the utilities and telecoms category in Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT 2007, has re-branded itself as the Kcom Group and is continuing initiatives to develop staff and graduates.

Since last year, Kcom provided 2,500 employees with 3,643 job-related training courses and 1,603 external technical training courses on technology from partners including Nortel and Cisco. It also provided 480 tailored management and personal development courses to support career progression.

"Kcom has helped my career development by retraining me in Prince2 project management methodology (foundation and practitioner) and subsequently the tailored developing management excellence course.

"I have also been lucky enough to be sponsored on the executive MBA programme at Hull University Business School," said Paul Murphy, senior project manager, group IT at Kcom.

"Our graduate programme develops graduates through the first two years of their career, moving them through departments to develop a broad understanding of IT," said Dean Branton, IT director at Kcom.

Branton said that training and development is central to the development of staff and the team. Over the past three years, more than 90 members of staff have gained ITIL accreditation, eight members of staff have gained Prince practitioner qualifications and two have gained Prince foundation levels. One member of staff has gained ISEB requirements engineering training.

Kcom Group also provides development plans tailored to support personal and job development needs. Part of this is its performance appraisal programme, where employees have an opportunity to sit down and have a one-to-one with their line manager, discuss their career aspirations and agree on a personal development plan.

In the past two years there have been six secondments within Group IT and into the business, and 17 internal promotions within Group IT.

Computer Weekly Best Places to Work in IT awards 2008

Computer Weekly is gearing up to host its fifth annual Best Places to Work in IT competition, which aims to find the UK's best managed IT departments.

Departments that provide a positive working environment, continuous professional development and a good work/life balance stand to gain from entering the competition.

By highlighting and applauding the best IT employers, the awards are part of Computer Weekly's drive to find and promote best practice in IT departments across the country.

Previous entrants have found that simply entering the awards brings benefits. The entry process allows managers to take stock of the way the department operates. Plus, the profile of the department can be raised both internally and externally, motivation and retention of staff can be increased, and recruitment can become easier.

There are several categories for IT departments of all sizes. The deadline for entries is Friday October 5, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in March 2008.


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