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Canon has launched a partner apprenticeship programme to help its channel cope with the skills gap.
The printer specialist is bringing on board 30 apprentices, with plans to more than double that to 70 next year, as part of its commitment to support accredited partners.
The apprentices will work in a framework devised by Canon and CompTIA to provide a mixture of on-the-job training as well as a certification programme.
By the end of the apprenticeship the candidates whould have the skills needed to slot into positions ranging from integration specialist to service delivery analyst at a Canon partner.
A handful of partners have signed up to support the scheme, including SOS Systems, Unidoc Solutions and IT@Spectrum.
Ken Sturdy, managing director of IT@Spectrum, said that it needed to bring on board more digital skills if it was going to be able to achieve its growth ambitions.
Adam Poole, responsible for Canon’s B2B go-to-market strategy, said that as customers started to go down the digital transformation path there was a need for different skills.
“The digitisation of information brings with it exciting opportunities for both Canon and our partners to develop new customer solutions and services. To do this effectively the industry needs to invest in new skills and talent," he said.
He added that the programme not only gave some young people the chance to get a foothold in the industry but also supported the channel.
Graham Hunter, vice president skills certification Europe and Middle East at CompTIA, said that more talent had to be nurtured in the IT industry.
"We’ve worked closely together over the past twelve months, using our A+ certification and Canon’s in-house training to design a programme that will support Canon’s channel partners to achieve their growth objectives, whilst providing young people with key skills in areas such as cybersecurity, systems networking, and mobile," he said.