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New e-skills Chief Executive wishes to talk herself out of a job


Karen Price has recently taken on the role of Chief Executive of the newly-formed e-skills National Training Organisation and has stated that her key ambition is to combat the IT skills shortage that looks to threaten the UK economy.

Her ambition is to talk herself out of a job in five years time and to have resolved the skills crisis she claims, in her first interview as Chief Executive. This is one of the most serious problems facing businesses in the UK at present, the acute shortage of professionals with up-to-date IT skills. If these problems are not shortly resolved, this could result in the UK's economic growth being seriously damaged. Existing research states that the UK will have a shortfall of 300,000 IT professionals by 2003.

The e-skills NTO is a partnership that was formed last year by merging two smaller training bodies together, they were the e-business NTO and the IT NTO. Price who previously ran the e-business NTO has spent the last twelve months placing these two organisations together.

Price also maintains that this new organisation needs to be employer-driven and IT directors will have an input into the e-skills NTO's policies and priorities. This organisation will then feed their views back to the Government.

She will also be meeting with IT directors and chief information officers as there is a lack of awareness as to the purpose of the e-skills NTO. Research has also shown that employers are struggling to find skilled people, however, are not prepared to invest in training their staff, graduates, hiring older workers, or making it easier for women to enter into the IT profession.

Price has identified three key objectives that ought to be worked on and they are:

  • A detailed programme of research into the skills shortage, the results will show which skills are now in short supply. This should allow employers, universities and training providers to plan ahead.
  • Encourage more people to take up careers in IT. This means making the IT profession more attractive to young people, encouraging more women and cross training workers from other professions.
  • Start meetings between employers,universities, training companies and colleges. This is to make sure that training is made available in the skills that industry needs the most.


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