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CompTIA teams up with SkillsTX to extend training reach

Industry group is keen to get its certifications in front of more users and forms partnership with platform provider

A key part of any channel partner programme is the training and help with skills support that the vendors share with distributors and resellers.

This week has seen a couple of examples. VMware launched its Partner Connect programme, with the emphasis on resellers gaining more digital skills, and Riverbed’s channel head, Bridget Bisnette, revealed that it had increased the enablement element of its Rise offering.

CompTIA has long banged the drum for increasing expertise among reseller staff and customers, and has teamed up with SkillsTx, which provides a platform that businesses can use to assess gaps and then plug in some of the CompTIA certifications to improve knowledge levels.

The partnership will see CompTIA’s certifications suite added as an option for users who then want to contact the organisation to organise training.

Matthew Burrows, president of SkillsTx, said the platform approach appealed to those users wanting to identify gaps and reach out to training providers. “Early stage mapping of the platform is showing a strong link between CompTIA’s offer and the needs of our users, with several organisations’ desired training outcomes pointing to CompTIA as the recommended training solution,” he said.

CompTIA has been encouraging resellers to get training in some of the emerging tech areas, and last year relaunched its A+ certification to ensure that the exams remained relevant for those in the channel. The organisation has changed the emphasis of the certification to encourage the development of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The certification covers technologies in emerging areas such as cloud computing, security, the internet of things (IoT) and virtualisation.

Graham Hunter, vice-president of skills at CompTIA, said there was a real danger that firms would lose out if they failed to keep on top of the skills needed in the evolving workplace.

“Skills gaps make a tangible impact on productivity. Companies need to address this directly, and consistent training and certifications for employees is crucial for this”
Graham Hunter, CompTIA

The organisation quoted research that indicated workers were prepared to leave their jobs if they felt they could not develop their careers with training. Gartner has also suggested that three-quarters of businesses will experience disruption because of the skills gap.

“Skills gaps make a tangible impact on productivity. Companies need to address this directly, and consistent training and certifications for employees is crucial for this. Immediate access to relevant and reliable learning pathways enables companies to ensure their employees adapt as technology does, and are prepared for the challenges emerging technology can bring,” said Hunter.

Meanwhile, CompTIA is to gain even more insight into the current partner landscape with the addition of James Pittick, director of indirect sales at Canon UK & Ireland, to its UK Channel Community Executive Council.

Pittick will serve a three-year term, representing the voice of the community and sharing his experiences at the helm of the channel in Canon UK.

“Canon has been a member of CompTIA for many years, and as a channel director I have actively encouraged my team to have a close relationship with the organisation,” he said. “I am keen to further support the CompTIA community as an Executive Council member, as I think this is the ideal platform to promote the channel. CompTIA plays a vital role in helping its members build and expand their businesses, and in my tenure, I will be working towards a successful growth of the UK channel community.”

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