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UKFast and Cisco aim to tackle Northern skills gap

UKFast and Cisco along with the Open University are working together to tackle the skills gap

UKFast and Cisco are working together to try and ease the skills gap and improve the technical expertise available to employers in the North.

Despite George Osborne's depature from Number 11 Downing Street the ambition to keep the 'Northern Powerhouse' he championed going remains strong.

To make sure the Northern Powerhouse has the skills it needs UKFast invited schools across the North West to sign up to take advantage of the support being offered to teachers by the Cisco Net Academy.

UKFast held a launch event last week and has already seen 73 schools sign-up to take advantage of the resources that the networking giant is offering.

“Everyone is talking about the skills shortage in technology, and there’s no way we can combat that shortage if we don’t give the teachers the tools to deliver cutting-edge digital training. Technology is evolving so quickly that we need to focus on supporting teachers and keeping them up to speed with the latest developments," said UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE.

“Just last week a skills audit by Manchester Digital called on employers to engage more closely with education. It’s something we’ve been doing at UKFast for years and we’re seeing amazing results. You can see from the incredible uptake for the scheme from schools and colleges that it’s something they’re crying out for," he added.

Cisco and UKFast are working with the Open University to deliver the academic programme and there is still a chance for schools to sign up to the programme.

“It’s critical for us to have strong partners like UKFast and the Open University because they bring amazing value to the curriculum and help deliver it to local schools. This has been Cisco’s flagship CSR programme since 1997 and we’re aiming to help everyone, not only IT professionals, become more confident in their use of technology and help them understand how it fits in the world that surrounds them," said Nuno Guarda, head of corporate affairs for Cisco in the UK & Ireland.

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