UK National Skills Academy for IT to open next year

A National Skills Academy for IT will be open by autumn next year after the government gave its support to the project.

A National Skills Academy for IT will be open by autumn next year after the government gave its support to the project.

The plan was developed by the IT sector skills council e-skills and a group of IT employers, including British Airways, BT, EDS, IBM, Logica, Microsoft and Oracle.

The National Skills Academy will "address the development needs of IT professionals in the UK". Work will begin on the academy in December, and it is expected to open in autumn 2010.

Karen Price, chief executive of e-skills UK, hopes employers will take a central role in developing the skills of the IT workforce.

"The National Skills Academy for IT offers a unique opportunity for employers to take collective responsibility for the skills and accreditation of the IT workforce. I believe this will play a major role in helping the UK become a world leader in IT in the coming years," she said.

The employers involved in the project are also hopeful the academy will be a "significant step" in boosting the UK IT sector's competitiveness.

Peter Butler, director of learning at BT Group, said, "The approval of the business plan for the National Skills Academy for IT is a significant step in achieving a highly skilled, mobile and confident body of talent which will help the UK win the global battle for competitiveness and productivity."

Paul Coby, CIO and head of BA Services, said, "The skills of our IT professionals are crucially important to our existing business and to our future development. We intend to work with the National Skills Academy for IT, which will enable our IT professionals to gain external recognition for their skills and will help them in their IT career development."

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