Plans to offer formal ecommerce training for UK students have been welcomed by the government.
The national vocation qualification, which will launch next spring, is backed by ITNTO (Information Technology National Training Organisation), national training organisation tele.com, and ecommerce trading hub operator Hyperchannel.
Kate Garvey, private secretary to the Prime Minister, welcomed the idea and called for collaboration between the course operators and the Department of Education and Employment. "The government's aim is to make the UK the best environment in the world for ecommerce," she added.
The group will also launch the first accreditation scheme for training providers to run ecommerce courses which they hope will "set the highest quality standard in education, against which all future ecommerce qualifications and training will be measured."
It is designed to combat the growing IT skills shortage which IDC predicts will reach a shortfall of 80,000 IT networking staff in the UK by 2002.
Ian Lorimer, managing director of tele.com, said that the qualifications for the accreditation scheme will not be based around NVQs but be more "product specific."
Anne Russell, chief executive of ITNTO, said: "The current plethora of diverse information in respect of ecommere ccourses is confusing and offputting. Businesses are experienceing difficulty when it comes to making a realistic assessment of training...the accreditation scheme will replace confusion with rationalisation and regulation."
IDC analyst Shiela McGovern said the ecommerce NVQ was "a good idea because there is so much demand for ecommerce skills," but warned against making it vendor specific and too generic.
"Where would they draw the line to decide what to include?" she said.
"Ecommerce covers a multitude of things and needs a mish-mash of skills including networking, software and business analysis."
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