IT sector skills council e-skills UK has launched an online tool for organisations and individuals to assess their IT literacy and identify training needs quickly and easily.
The e-skills Passport compares individuals' IT knowledge and training against the IT User Skills Framework, developed with employers to provide a standard description of the skills required of users in different sectors and job roles.
The system then recommends appropriate external training, including publicly funded courses where individuals gain qualifications.
Martin Harvey, director of IT user skills at e-skills UK, said: "This isn't a replacement for a large-scale training analysis programme. This is self-assessment, which is what employers said they wanted: something with a light touch that wasn't arduous."
The service carries a nominal charge of £10 a year per employee to cover e-skills UK's costs, but Harvey maintained that it more than paid for itself.
"The real whammy is the data employers get. They can take a snapshot of their IT skills, see where they have gaps or opportunities and can then adjust their training to make it much more cost effective," he said.
A key driver for the development of the system was the government's desire to measure and manage the level of IT skills in the UK.
Harvey said individuals and organisations using Passport could be sure that no personal information would be released, but that the data gathered in the system would be used anonymously to analyse broader statistical trends.
"The wider goal here is for the UK to gain an unprecedented view of what's happening in the economy, which we haven't had before," he added.
"That's why the government is so gung-ho about the whole thing, because for the first time they can see where all this investment in IT skills is going and the effect it's having."
E-skills has been piloting the system since November with 5,000 users from organisations of differing sizes and various sectors.
Larry Hirst, chairman of e-skills UK and general manager of IBM UK and Ireland, said in a statement: "Without Passport, we risk our employability as individuals, our profits as companies and our international competitiveness as a country."
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