The skills shortage in the IT industry is now being addressed with a joint venture between the UK government and three major vendors.
The e-skills National Training Organisation (NTO) has joined forces with vendors Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.
Currently, large multinational vendors offer their own qualifications for entry to the industry. But last week all three companies launched an initiative, with government compliance, to link their vendor qualifications with the National Vocational Qualification.
Andrew Gibbons, project manager for the initiative, said: "There has always been a parallel between what vocational training can offer, and what government qualifications can offer. We have decided to link the two to provide both technical and soft skills."
Gibbons put the skills shortage down to the rapid growth of the IT industry. "A recent survey we conducted showed that companies believe they have a 38 per cent growth rate in staff requirements.
"Working with education partners, addressing gender issues and making the industry more attractive to potential employees are all important in alleviating this issue," he said.
Bob Lewis, Europe, Middle East & Africa learning and development manager at Cisco, said: "The combination of our academy programme, where Cisco currently trains over 140,000 students, and the collaborative links with the NTO will make the internet revolution a reality by developing a skilled, experienced and qualified networking talent pool."
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