E-Skills calls for tech industry support for new job creation crusade

Education and skills blackboard

E-Skills UK is calling on tech firms of all sizes to join its latest IT skills and job creation crusade.

The initiative is part of e-Skills bid to take part in the Government's 340 million Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot, which encourages employers to create employment projects that could provide UK plc with an economic boost.

Viable projects will receive Government funding, and should aim to create jobs, skill-up existing workers and, in turn, drive economic growth.

Anything that gets employers involved in designing the solutions to their own problems has got to be a good thing.

E-Skills wants the IT industry to pool its resources and provide feedback on its bid plans, through its new Tech Skills Partnership.

The IT skills body's plans have already won the support of Accenture, Microsoft, BT, Capgemini, Cisco and HP, as well as a handful of non-IT private and public sector organisations.

Prospective participants will be initially encouraged to share their thoughts on e-Skills' plans through an online survey, so the group knows where to focus its project work.

Olly Benzecry, managing director for UK and Ireland at Accenture, said the scheme has the potential to make a big difference to the country's economic prospects.

"By getting together as an industrial partnership and strongly influencing the technology skills agenda, we will develop the sustainable technology talent the economy needs," Benzecry added.

In a statement to IT Pro, Joanna Poplawska, performance director of fellow IT skills body the Corporate IT Forum, said initiatives like this will play an important role in tackling EU-wide tech skill shortages in the future.

For instance, she said there are fears that up to 700,000 IT-related vacancies could go unfilled in the EU by 2015.

"It would be nave to think that the IT departments of large UK-based organisations won't be amongst the worst affected given how many major businesses and multinationals are based here," she said.

"Anything that gets employers involved in designing the solutions to their own problems has got to be a good thing," she added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.