SMEs can receive free IT training

London's small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to receive free IT training under a new scheme funded by the London...

London's small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to receive free IT training under a new scheme funded by the London Development Agency (LDA).

The free IT certification training, supplied by training provider Internet Exchange, will be available to London businesses with less than 250 employees. Staff can be trained in a range of IT skills and work towards widely recognised qualifications including the Microsoft certified professional qualification and CompTIA.

The London Development Agency, the mayor's agency for business and jobs, is funding the scheme until December 2004. Internet Exchange has also received funding from the European Social Fund.

The training can be accessed at any of the 17 Internet Exchange training centres in London, and once the trainee is registered, the courses can be accessed from the workplace or the home. Online tutors are available 24 hours a day.

Manny Lewis, acting chief executive of the LDA, said, "It is vital we have a workforce whose skills meet the needs of small businesses. Internet Exchange's work is crucial in maintaining London's position as a leading business location and also helping the performance of SMEs."

SMEs are leading the growth in IT spending, according to recent research. Firms employing less than 500 staff spent 7.5% more on IT in the last quarter of 2003, compared to the 3.9% increase generated by larger companies, the SSL/Computer Weekly Quarterly Survey of Appointments, Data and Trends found.

"SMEs are still playing catch-up with larger firms when it come to IT expenditure, so the difference in spending may continue in the future," said Kris Wicka, director at Kew Associates.

Further information on the SME IT training

www.internet-exchange.co.uk

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