Firms rewarded for their creative approach to IT employee training

The standard of IT training is going up, according to Colin Steed, chief executive of the Institute of IT training.

The standard of IT training is going up, according to Colin Steed, chief executive of the Institute of IT training.

Speaking to Computer Weekly ahead of the institute's awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Thursday, Steed said, "The standard of IT training is rapidly improving - we have noticed that, despite the downturn in the IT training market over the past three years, there is some quality training going ahead.

"This year we had a record number of entries. The standard was extremely high and is going up every year." About 100 companies submitted entries for the awards.

Judges were impressed by the commitment shown by this year's shortlisted entries. Firms in the running for the coveted IT training company of the year award included Parity Training, QA and Happy Computers.

The institute also shortlisted organisations and individuals across a number of specialist categories, including external e-learning projects, training manager, external training and training department of the year.

Representatives from Belfast City Council, the Scottish Prison Service College and Centrica were among those in the running for the training manager of the year award. According to the Institute for IT Training, the shortlisted submissions showed that the leading training managers were adopting increasingly creative approaches to raising staff skill levels.

For the training department of the year award, the judges said the submissions highlighted the way in which best practice has developed over the past 12 months. Organisations vying for the award came from a variety of business sectors, including Coors Brewers, News International Newspapers and Kelly Services (UK).

Steed said that, although the shortlist proved that there was high quality work going on within organisations, the role of IT training was evolving. He said, "Lots of corporates are doing projects where the training department is involved from the start.

"It is great that they are involved from the outset, because, by the time the project is implemented, all the users will be trained."

This represented a significant change in how IT training had often been handled, according to Steed. He said, "In the past, firms often implemented a system and then thought about training the staff."

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