Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Soldiering on Fills the Tech Skills Gap; by the End of This Year, It Is Predicted That the IT Skills Shortage Will Reach 700,000 People across Europe. to Help Plug This Gap, Technology Company EMC Has Teamed Up with X-Forces to Provide Free Training to Ex-Military Personnel. by Niki Chesworth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Soldiering on Fills the Tech Skills Gap; by the End of This Year, It Is Predicted That the IT Skills Shortage Will Reach 700,000 People across Europe. to Help Plug This Gap, Technology Company EMC Has Teamed Up with X-Forces to Provide Free Training to Ex-Military Personnel. by Niki Chesworth

Article excerpt

Byline: Niki Chesworth

THE I.T. sector faces a significant challenge how to find enough qualified personnel capable of designing, selling and deploying technology. Former Armed Forces personnel have their own challenge finding suitable work to match their skills and attributes. That is why technology company EMC has partnered with the social enterprise X-Forces to provide training and opportunities for those leaving military service.

"It's groundbreaking for two reasons," says Ren Kapur, CEO and founder of X-Forces. "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. 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."

Up to 20 military leavers will be trained by EMC in its technology as part of the programme, which will be rolled out to other employers and other sectors. The tech company will then help these ex-service personnel to find roles across the EMC partner community or support them in becoming independent EMC resellers.

"We have access to the ex-military community and EMC has pledged the technical training. Collectively, we can attract, skill, mentor and redeploy into the industry," adds Kapur.

"Military service leavers, given the right support, are highly motivated and ambitious, but civilians can learn as much from them as the other way round. The training and skills learned in the military are exceptionally valuable in the business world, so it is a win/win."

Ian Heath, director, public sector, EMC UK and a former captain in the Army adds: "The UK IT industry faces a very real and alarming shortage of trained IT professionals that threatens to impact our overall recovery. 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. …

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