Merseyside businesses will have to pay only 20 per cent of their staff's IT training costs as part of a new government e-learning initiative.
The SkillWorks initiative, funded by the Learning and Skills Council for Greater Merseyside and the Europe Objective 1 programme, has promised to meet 80 per cent of the training costs for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Working with ICT user group Merit and with MerseyGrid (MGL), The SkillWorks training and development organisation will offer IT training online or via CD-Rom.
Using e-learning, SMBs can access training packages on Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel or Access.
In addition they can take the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), which covers skills including email, word processing, spreadsheets and databases.
The IT training comes with a telephone helpline, student logbooks and optional face-to-face tutoring.
The scheme was set up after Merit found high demand among local businesses for office-based IT training.
The £12.5m SkillWorks initiative decided to help fund the IT training scheme and contracted MGL as a regional Microsoft and ECDL centre.
The subsidy means that IT training costs range from £33 to £133 for Microsoft applications, with the ECDL course costing £108.
Merseyside SMBs are also eligible for up to £50,000 in other training costs after meeting certain criteria.
The SkillWorks can be contacted on freephone 0808 178 1782 or via their website.
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