Strain to train For those of you reading the Letters pages recently, you will have seen that there is quite a debate raging on about the state of IT training in the UK - just look to your right and see for yourself.
There are those that believe that companies should bear the cost, while others claim companies shouldn't have to as once the employee is trained they jump ship and move on to another job, thanks to their costly new skills. Some say that the universities that offer IT courses and degrees are not training students for life in the real IT world, while others want the government to step in and fork out.
There was even one enterprising letter that suggested employees should stop complaining, pay for their own courses, and then use the skills to get a better job. Despite not agreeing on what the solution is, they all agree that the skills shortage is very real and no one is really helping.
It's obvious that businesses don't want to spend money training people that are going move when they're super-brainy in NT or Java. Why should they? The universities are not always to blame for student's not having years of experience - something often required by most employers. The government obviously can't deal with the situation. This is evidenced most recently by its euro TV ads, that use a very angry Tony Blair lookalike as an MD beating the euro into his employees - too much money on the wrong kind of message. Also, one of Tony Blair's key Year 2000 drives has fallen on deaf ears. His March announcement to create 30,000 Y2K bug busters with a #26 million investment has managed to recruit just a 100.
Maybe IT companies can help by offering some heavily subsidised training courses in the use of their own products. No one's asking for freebies, but IT companies have the skilled people at hand to do the training and the government has lots of money it could divert from silly TV ads to help subsidise the lot. A few hundred more experts in key technologies could go a long way.
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