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IT Training Market Grows


The UK IT skills sector has indicated a return to growth for the first time in three years, according to IT Skills Research.

The latest IT Skills Research quarterly survey, based on returns from most of the leading training companies, reveals that the 'Overall IT Training Revenue Index' for the first quarter 2004 was '70', on a scale of 0 - 100 where an index figure over 50 indicates 'growth'.

David Pardo, Research Director at IT Skills Research, said: "This is the highest value recorded since the second quarter of 2001.

"And based on their current order books and run rates, the same training companies are expecting even better growth in the current quarter, Q2 2004."

IT Skills Research also found that 2003 results were better than expected, due to an improvement in fourth quarter, the UK IT Training market in 2003 did not decline as sharply as had been feared.

Performance data up to September suggested the full year's IT training spend by employers would be down by about 13% on 2002.

"In fact the rate of decline eased in the final quarter and our best estimate now is that the market in 2003 was down 9.5% and currently stands at £380million," Mr Pardo said.

The improvement in the UK market is not typical of the global picture.

In recent weeks it's been the reporting season for quarterly results from NASDAQ-listed training businesses.

In the quarter to February/March, Centra reported worldwide revenues down 11% on the same period last year.

New Horizons was down 7%, Saba down 19%, SumTotal down 11%, SAP's training revenues were down 9% and Oracle's were down 7%.

The only increase came from Learning Tree (+2%) and perhaps from Sun, whose worldwide Professional and Education Services revenues were up by 11%.


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