IT trade association CompTIA has opened an academy designed to support IT trainers and educators as they attempt to improve technology skills in areas where knowledge and equipment is hard to come by.
The CompTIA Authorised Academy Membership Program (CAPP) Academy will let trainers do their jobs more efficiently, by offering lower cost resources and certification, and access to its support community.
The Academy replaces CompTIA's successful Education to Careers (E2C) programme, but a key difference is that the cost of joining is offset against the cost for certification.
This means that joining fees will be put towards items like materials and exam costs, which should help lower total costs over the course of training, said CompTIA.
Members will be free to use their membership credit to train instructors or assist students, it added.
"For those already planning to buy CompTIA certifications, membership is now effectively free," said Michelle Henderson, CAPP Academy manager.
"For those who aren't, this is a chance to sample CompTIA certifications at reduced cost, whilst also benefitting from one of the most supportive and informed IT education communities in the world."
CompTIA is offering instructor seminars and webinars as well as how-to guides for key subjects and advice on student employment and interacting with employers.
Matthew Poyiadgi, European vice president of CompTIA, added that CAPP will help address skills shortages which are of increasing concern.
"E-skills UK are saying that the IT sector needs 110,000 new entrants by 2014, and it's clear to us that IT training and certification is key to meeting this demand," he said.
"We need to do everything we can to support educators as the people who are safeguarding the future of the nation's IT workforce - not just to train, but to recruit students, certify them and connect them to the right jobs."
A number of benefits have been carried over from the E2C programme, including free marketing and training materials, and discounted training and exam vouchers.
New features include attendance at CompTIA's annual member conference, lesson plans, instructor training, and access to training portals aimed at students and lecturers.
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