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Home > News > May 2004 > 11-May-2004

First 25 complete new IT user qualification

At an awards ceremony yesterday, the first 25 people to complete the new Information Technology Qualification (ITQ) were presented with their certificates.

ITQ is a module-based IT user qualification - the first of a new breed of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) - designed in partnership with employers in response to the increasing demand in the workplace for computer skills.

Research conducted by e-skills UK shows that more than 90% of new jobs in the UK require the use of Information and Communication Technology, yet more than half of UK employers feel that their staff do not have sufficiently developed IT User skills.

The ITQ project brings together a range of partners including e-skills UK, the Learning and Skills Council, awarding bodies, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and employers. ITQ supports the Government’s skills strategy through a direct link to the new set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and the IT User Skills Framework.

Demand for ITQ amongst employers and learners has been strong. To date, 3,500 ITQ learners from over 300 employers have been registered as part of the trials across a variety of UK industry sectors. One third of these learners have used e-skills Passport – a web-based service that enables candidates to self-assess their IT user skills and competencies – to evaluate their skill level and identify areas that need training.

“ITQ has been tailor-made by employers for employers and recognises that IT is the new literacy requirement for the 21st Century,” said Karen Price, CEO, e-skills UK. “Employers that worked with us to develop ITQ are extremely enthusiastic about the way it will be able to tackle occupationally specific skills through appropriate training and qualifications. It’s good to see so many early participants using e-skills Passport to accurately assess their skills and training needs.”

“Almost all businesses are using information and communication technologies on a daily basis,” said David Way, National Director of Skills at the Learning and Skills Council. “The majority of the workforce in the UK needs to improve their competence and skills in the use of IT, and ITQ is a unique way of tackling this issue. Not only does it allow candidates to focus on specific topics and improve their individual skills sets, but it will also help businesses to target areas of need and base their IT qualification around what’s important to them.”

ITQ will be available across England from Autumn 2004.

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