Project aims to fill IT shortage

A new hub is being created to train more people in the IT industry.

In a bid to tackle the shortage of IT vacancies in the north east, IT employer network Dynamo has teamed up with Baltic Training Services, a leading training provider, is launching the UK’s first IT Apprentice Hub.

A 15-week Rising Stars programme will offer an intensive IT skills training course.

The first hub is due to open in Sunderland this month and in Newcastle in April following a successful pilot at Quorum Business Park, in Longbenton.

One of those to benefit was Sam Thompson, 18, from Whitley Bay, who registered with Baltic Training Services after his GCSEs and said he had struggled with motivation for his exams.

He said: “I was really happy to be selected both for the 15 week course and then by NCFE for the infrastructure apprenticeship role.”

“I am fortunate that my parents run a successful IT business and I’ve always been around IT as a result, which helped with my knowledge and awareness of the sector.

“I think once I was able to focus on an area that was of particular interest to me I have been motivated to succeed.

“My parents have seen me knuckle down and really enjoy what I’m doing so they are delighted for me.”

Bob Paton, vice chair of Dynamo and managing director of Accenture in Newcastle, said: “We have an ever growing and successful IT sector in the north east, however, to grow it further we need to increase the pool of young people in the region who have the skills necessary to join the industry.

“That is why Dynamo has put skills development at the top of our agenda.

“A major element of our skills strategy is to increase the take on of apprentices particularly for SMEs.

“Setting up this Apprentice Hub is unique in IT and will significantly help more young people into our industry.”

Louise Ball, operations director of Baltic Training Services, said: “The IT sector is a major employer in the region and as its fastest growing sector this will only become more so.

“It is very important therefore that we support it by attracting the brightest and best young talent in sufficient numbers.

“We will do this by delivering recognised accredited training and offering a clear route to the employer who in turn will provide sustainable career opportunities.

“We developed the model in collaboration with Dynamo within the IT sector, to provide a structured approach to attracting, training and recruiting new talent into the IT sector.”