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Support career changers to plug IT skills gap


IT skills provider, Computeach, is calling on the government to change its approach to funding to support adults seeking a career change.

Currently the government issues grants for adult learning in two key areas: firstly for adults wishing to improve basic numeracy and literacy and secondly through employers for their staff to study government approved qualifications such as NVQs.

Karl Parkinson, chairman at Computeach, believes there is a significant group of people who are losing out on adult learning funding - the career changer. He explains: “While the government funds basic skills for individuals, and helps employers train staff already in employment, there is little support for individuals already in work wanting to pursue professional qualifications to change career. And this is where industry’s need is the greatest.

“With a significant skills gap in industries demanding professional qualifications such as IT, there needs to be support for individuals to move from one industry to the next. Currently, if someone wants to study an ACCA to become an accountant or an MCSE to work in IT, the qualifications need to be self-funded. There is also an issue of flexibility, often people cannot give up work to go to college, so need to look at flexible learning options which fit in with working hours.

“State funded qualifications, while valuable to personal development, do little to improve chances of employment in professional roles and ultimately help to plug the skills gaps. The Government needs to do more to address the imbalance of funding for adult learning to support both the workforce and industry in a meaningful way.”


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