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7 March 2001

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LINX to tackle Internet skills shortage


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 Internet traffic.

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."

September 2000

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