EMC Offers Ex-military Personnel Free Training To Tackle IT Skills Shortage

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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EMC will invest £250,000 in training former members of the British Armed Forces to design and deploy corporate technology

IT service provider EMC plans to invest £250,000 in a programme designed to tackle the IT skills shortage in the UK by providing free IT training to former members of the armed forces.

Working with specialist military support organisation X-Forces, EMC will provide seven weeks of training to ex-servicemen, equipping them with the skills they need to design, sell and support enterprise IT.

Increasing concern

The new programme, which will be run with support from EMC staff, is targeted at all arms and ranks of the military. Research recently published by EMC at its London Forum has highlighted the increasing concern among UK business with less than a third believing that their IT skills are sufficient.

The Military Leavers programme will give individuals the opportunity to develop their skills and retrain for a number of different roles within EMC and EMC’s channel partner network, amongst which there is strong demand for capable people able to design, sell and support the IT services and applications needed by modern businesses. With the support of X-forces, the ex-military trainees will also have access to funding and guidance should they wish to use those skills to start their own business.

IT trainingEMC will offer seven weeks of lab and online training, covering IT architecture and design, as well as going into detail on storage solutions, data protection and beyond. All courses will be made available online, and trainees will be given full access to the EMC labs a massive resource of EMC’s and its partners’ technology to test and practice on.

EMC will also give the trainees access to existing ex-military staff for mentoring support, to offer guidance and support during the course.

Ian Heath, director, public sector, EMC UK, and also a former captain of the British Army, said: “The UK IT industry faces a very real and alarming shortage of trained IT professionals that threatens to impact our overall economy. By the end of this year it’s predicted that the skills shortage will reach 700,000 people across Europe. Providing training for military leavers is one of many ways that we can address this challenge. Our military is full of highly driven and motivated people. Being able to offer them some support during their transition to civilian life is something industry needs to increasingly embrace for our mutual benefit.”

Ren Kapur, CEO and founder of X-Forces, added: “The opportunity EMC and XF are providing is both exciting and essential. It is ground-breaking for two reasons. Firstly it bridges the gap and delivers fit-for-purpose expertise into those vital areas where skills shortages will impact corporate and national economic recovery and growth if they are not filled.

“And secondly, of equal importance, it recognises the human nature of the solution, and delivers hope, opportunity and support to this cadre of highly capable people, ensuring that they can aspire to fulfilling and sustainable second careers.

“This route will really appeal to technical personnel leaving the Services and from the Forces’ community and give them an excellent opportunity to add real value to the commercial sector.”

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