A new industry alliance has been set up to tackle skills shortages in the IT industry.
The Alliance for Information Systems Skills (AISS) pulls together key organisations involved in IT skills and training, including various government departments.
Its formation is a direct result of recommendations made in a study carried out last year by the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). The study found there were 43 separate bodies involved in IT skills training and identified considerable overlap, duplication and confusion in the work they carried out.
It also found a serious shortage of IT skills, as well as a dearth of market research on the problem. One of the Alliance's first tasks will be to set about improving the quality of research available.
The ITITO (Information Technology Industry Training Organisation) will be responsible for the co-ordination and administration of the Alliance.
The ITITO is seeking to become the IT sector National Training Organisation.
Ian Taylor, minister for science and technology at the Department of Trade, welcomed the Alliance. He said: "All industries increasingly depend on information systems skills. The ability to access, manage, and communicate information is a key to competitive advantage across all sectors. Industry also faces additional requirements from the century date change and the prospect of monetary union, whether the UK is in or out.
"We strongly support the work of the Alliance which complements the government's Information Society Initiative."
Members of the Alliance include: the British Computer Society (BCS), Computing Services and Software Association (CSSA), National Computing Centre (NCC), and the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).
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