The London Internet Exchange
(LINX) is to launch a scheme to help tackle a shortage of skilled Internet
engineering staff that threatens to hamper development of e-commerce in the UK
and the rest of Europe.
LINX is a non-profit-making
organisation owned by more than 100 leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
from the UK, USA and continental Europe. It operates facilities which connect
the networks of its members and currently carry around 98 per cent of the UK's
Now LINX is planning to help
universities and other educational institutions design and deliver training
courses which will lead to graduates being qualified as LINX Accredited Internet
Engineers. It is intended that the new courses will be integrated into the
syllabuses of existing Internet-related engineering courses.
Running in parallel with the new
training initiative, LINX is to implement a scheme to assist students and
graduates seeking work experience to be placed within member organisations.
Philip Shaw, chairman of LINX's
training sub-committee, said: "Our members have identified a shortage of
skilled people as one of the biggest constraints on the development of their
businesses. This new initiative by LINX is designed to help tackle this problem.
"By influencing the course
content to cover more appropriate course material LINX will be raising the
overall technical competence of graduates. The LINX accredited training module
will cover all the relevant required knowledge fields. It will fill in the gaps
in the current education system syllabus in order to equip graduates with the
exact skills which industry is looking for."
Discussions have already been
held with education establishments in the UK and Germany and plans are at an
advanced stage for some of these institutions to introduce the new training
module into degree courses next year.
Meanwhile, LINX has already begun
to assist students from some of these universities to find work experience
placements. Over the next few months LINX will extend and formalise the system
with an e-bulletin for its members which will link companies seeking students
with students looking for placements.
Philip Shaw said: "Student
and graduates placed within participating LINX member organisations will benefit
from the direct Internet experience obtained on site. Members will benefit by
increasing their workforce and the educations sector will potentially benefit by
being awarded more grants for assisting student industrial placements."