by Eric Berkman

Britain to Turn Unemployed into IT Techs

Jul 01, 20011 min
IT Skills

Those of you still trying to address your staffing problems probably haven’t considered checking the benches of the Boston Common, Port Authority bus terminal or Golden Gate Park. Well, you may be way behind the times. Because according to our counterparts across the pond, this could be the thinking of the future.

Gordon Brown, the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, recently announced plans for the British government to train the “long-term unemployed” to fill a growing list of vacancies in Britain’s technology sector. According to Brown, 5,000 technician jobs will be set aside for unemployed people who successfully complete a training course. Companies like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have agreed to provide the jobs in return for the government footing the bill for the training.

The three-year pilot project, called Ambition IT, will cost the government about $70 million. The plan calls for trainees to receive technician jobs with salaries between $21,000 and $28,000. The government also plans to put another 15,000 people through a basic IT skills training course to enhance their employability.

Of course, if the economy keeps going the way it is, trained IT professionals could be occupying those same park benches.