CompTIA Calls In The Troops To Bridge The Skills Gap

Channel News

The company arms ex-military personnel to get them back in action as IT technicians

CompTIA has launched a scheme to get ex-armed forces personnel into IT and channel jobs.

The Armed for IT campaign, launched today, cited the lack of IT skills as a reason for getting veterans into the industry. The organisation said that since the 2010 defence review there have been an increasing number of service leavers returning to the UK and looking for civilian jobs, while military professionals often have the raw skills and ethic that are in demand in the IT industry.

Situations vacant

The company said that recent research from eSkills suggests 129,000 new entrants a year are required to fill new IT and telecoms jobs in the UK. CompTIA said the programme could help the industry tackle the skills shortage.

Graham Hunter, director for Western Europe at CompTIA, said, “Military professionals often have strong business, communication and technical skills and a good work ethic, which are all much in demand in the IT industry. There is a wide range of jobs for which someone with military training and leadership skills would be a perfect fit.”

“We believe the problem has been that, until now, there has been nothing which clearly outlines the opportunities, then helps them train and certify the technical skills they need to make the transition. We believe this is a real missed opportunity both for the IT industry, which needs great people, and for hard working military leavers who want to contribute to society back home,” he said.

The scheme aims to become a resource for training providers and employers who wish to train and recruit ex-service people.

Former naval radar operations expert Russ Muir studied for and gained certification in the CompTIA Network+, the entry level qualification for network engineer roles.  This, combined with his 23-year-long military experience, landed him his first IT role.

“The forces have a big advantage in IT, partly because they often have the right skills to get in, but also because the financial packages available to those leaving the military are well suited to the well-defined training and certification routes into IT,” said Muir.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has lent his support to the scheme and said his constituency in the North-East of England was “a fertile recruiting ground for the armed forces”.

“We have a duty to ensure they have long term and sustainable careers when they return,” Lavery said. “I am a strong advocate of CompTIA’s Armed for IT Careers programme which helps individuals who’ve served our country find long-term and sustainable careers within a growing, exciting sector. Local employers will also benefit from hiring motivated individuals with up to date industry credentials.”

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