DTI offers overseas secondments to help firms with new technology

IT staff who want to learn new skills overseas can apply for an expanded secondment scheme run by the Department of Trade &...

IT staff who want to learn new skills overseas can apply for an expanded secondment scheme run by the Department of Trade & Industry.

The DTI Global Watch Secondments scheme aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve their productivity and competitiveness by supporting their efforts to keep abreast of the latest scientific and technological advances worldwide.

To qualify for one of the secondments, which range from three months to one year, IT professionals have to show that the technology and skills they are learning overseas are not readily available in the UK.

Examples of previous technology-based secondments include a one-year placement with a US company to learn about the impact of Wi-Fi wireless network technology on mobile communications, and a four-month secondment to learn about network diagnostics. Secondments also involve overseas IT staff spending time at a UK company to share their knowledge and skills.

Benefits of the scheme, according to the DTI, include increasing the chance of transferring technologies at the right time.

At the publication of the DTI Global Watch Service annual report for 2003/2004 last month, minister for science and innovation Lord Sainsbury said the service was helping firms of all sizes to interact with global partners but that there was much more to be done.

The Global Watch Service last year enabled 160 companies and academics to visit 12 countries and provided inward and outward secondments to 15 countries, the service's annual report revealed.

More information

www.globalwatchonline.com/annualreport

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