Cloud careers scheme targets job seekers with reskilling offer

27 Feb 2012

The latest round of a training and work placement scheme aims to help job seekers and the unemployed get into careers in cloud computing.

The ISA Software Skillnet programme is led by the industry training network the ISA Software Skillnet, which is funded by Skillnets and promoted by the Irish Software Association, and it also has the backing of virtualisation specialist VMware.

The programme is free to the unemployed and subject to approval from the Department of Social Protection. Participants may also be eligible for a top up to their current unemployment benefits.

Lasting nine months in total, the scheme includes 12 weeks of training delivered by VMware trainers, the ICT training company c2 and Cork Institute of Technology. VMware and other companies in the region will also provide opportunities for job seekers to apply their new skills and gain experience in the sector by providing work placements.

Skillnets chief executive Alan Nuzum said last September 26 job seekers joined the programme and 40pc of the participants are already in jobs, while the remainder are in high-quality work placements.

“This conversion programme can deliver the skills and experience necessary for job seekers to gain meaningful employment in this growing sector and also provides enterprise with qualified individuals to recruit,” added Nuzum.

Expected growth in cloud computing

Research from Forrester is predicting global growth throughout all cloud markets this year, reaching US$61bn in value.

The programme comes at a time when demand for technical skills remains high throughout the technology sector. More than 4,000 new ICT jobs were announced last year alone in a sector which employs more than 84,000 people, and 2012 has already seen several high-profile job announcements in companies such as MasterCard and PayPal.

Anecdotally, companies across the spectrum of small start-ups to established indigenous companies and the multinationals say it is difficult to find sufficient amounts of skilled recruits in the local labour market.

Moreover, many of the jobs now being created require skills that are tested through international accreditations which are recognised across the software sector. The ISA Software Skillnet programme aims to provide both new graduates and those looking to change careers with an intensive skills conversion opportunity. It will also provide work placements which will open up opportunities for roles as triage engineers and in technical support.

The next programme will begin in March and applications can be made online. is hosting Skills February, a month dedicated to news, reports, interviews and videos covering a range of topics on the digital skills debate.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic