CA Mainframe Academy To Tackle Skills Shortage

CA Technologies is doing its bit to combat the mainframe skills shortage with its Mainframe Academy

CA Technologies is stepping up to tackle the problem of declining mainframe skill sets in the tech industry.

There has been an ongoing problem for businesses for some time now, which are struggling to find staff with appropriate mainframe skills, as mainframe experts reach retirement age. Indeed, a CA survey in June 2009 found that more than 80 percent of UK respondents were worried about mainframe skills in their company. That compared to around 66 percent for the rest of Europe.

And the company cites a more recent survey of over 300 IT professionals across Europe, which showed that just over half of organisations are still grappling with mainframe staffing issues created by the greying workforce and difficulty in hiring new staff.

Mainframe Academy

To this end, CA (which already offers a number of mainframe management tools) recently launched a ‘Mainframe Academy‘ to help develop IT talent. And the company has just announced that it has donated $1 million (£613,000) to fund scholarships at its Mainframe Academy.

The idea behind the scholarship programme is that young IT students will be awarded a place at the Mainframe Academy, where pupils will gain much needed mainframe management skills.

“We created Mainframe Academy with CA Technologies to help our customers sustain critical workforce skills,” said Brad Samargya, chief learning officer, CA Technologies. “The CA Technologies Mainframe Academy Scholarship programme extends this commitment to promising young mainframe talent.”

Students at the Academy face “an eight-week, vendor-agnostic immersion programme with a blend of instructor-led classroom, virtual and self-paced learning designed to provide core skills to manage the mainframe environment.”

Scholarship Programme

The scholarship is open to “young IT professionals enrolled in high school, undergraduate and graduate university programmes, or recent graduates”. Interested parties will be able to download the scholarship application form on 1 May from here.

“SHARE appreciates the commitment CA Technologies is making with this scholarship programme,” said Janet Sun, President of SHARE, an independent, volunteer run association of enterprise computing users. “The Mainframe Academy with CA Technologies provides participants with skills allowing these new professionals to accelerate their ability to be productive in mainframe IT organisations.”

“The mainframe is experiencing a resurgence, and we need to motivate and train young talent to allow it to continue to play a critical role in corporate IT and cloud computing strategies,” said Dayton Semerjian, general manager, mainframe at CA Technologies.

This sentiment was endorsed by a survey of eWEEK Europe readers back in July last year, after it found that big iron remains a very popular platform.

Meanwhile CA has also revealed that it has implemented the IBM zEnterprise and BladeCenter Extension. The hybrid environment will apparently help customers to lower costs by “developing new solutions and providing for interoperability between key products in CA Technologies extensive mainframe and distributed software portfolio.”