First Academy established to develop IT consultants

From: Bob Little Press & PR
Published: Wed Nov 16 2005

To help meet the corporate and public sector’s increasingly demanding standards for IT training, two of the UK’s largest trainer resource providers, Training Synergy and BroadSkill, have established Spearhead Academy – the UK’s first college developing candidates to become qualified IT training consultants. The Academy welcomes its first intake of what is predicted to be hundreds of students on 21st November.

Spearhead Academy provides an innovative, three-week programme which guides students towards European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) accreditation as well as the new national ITQ Level 3 qualification.

Jane McCarthy, who heads up Spearhead Academy, commented: "The first part of the course equips delegates with the skills required to deliver effective IT end-user training, covering course design and delivery, learning styles and lesson planning. Throughout the course delegates are given opportunities to practise their newly developed skills by delivering several ‘mini-teach’ sessions, the content of which will contribute to the work-based evidence tasks required to achieve ITQ qualification later in the course.

"Delegates are then coached through the ECDL syllabus with accredited testing and should achieve the ITQ Level 2 qualification on completion of the three-week programme. Before leaving the course, students develop a plan to help them achieve the ITQ Level 3 qualification and are offered coaching and support by our tutors to help them reach this goal," she added.

"All of the Academy’s successful candidates are supported and guided in how to start their own sustainable training business and given an opportunity to work on a major Synergy or BroadSkill IT training project with a leading global IT company," McCarthy promised.

Already, the Spearhead Academy has been accepted as a registered training provider for the Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) scheme. Among other things, this means that the Academy can accept people leaving the British Armed Forces and who are looking to establish a new career.

Welcoming the establishment of Spearhead Academy, Daniel Hanlon, director of Training Synergy, commented: " As one of the UK’s largest suppliers of freelance IT trainers, with over 300 trainers working on projects across the UK at any one time, delivering some 40,000 training days a year and with a turnover in excess of £8m, we have seen ‘training’ evolve in recent years, with the introduction of e-learning, ‘floor walking’, workshops, mentor and drop-in sessions augmenting the instructor-led training, which was by far the main IT training delivery method even five years ago.

"IT trainers used to have to explain what a mouse is. Those days are long gone."

"Nowadays, trainers are becoming consultants and mentors, working with learners to advise and guide them to help them become more productive in their daily roles."

"Through the Spearhead Academy, Training Synergy and BroadSkill are recruiting, training and employing qualified IT training consultants – not mere IT training deliverers - to meet the acknowledged current shortage."


Notes for Editors:

About ITQs

Nationally recognised qualifications, approved by the Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA), ITQs are a flexible IT user qualification that can be tailored to ensure that learners are trained in the IT skills they need in the workplace. ITQs are intended for IT users and have been designed to accommodate employer requirements.

This qualification recognises that different employers need staff to have skills at different levels. A key feature of ITQs is the flexibility to customise training to meet employers' specific needs and to adapt the qualification to an individual's skills level.

Because of the flexibility of the framework, existing IT user qualifications or IT tasks completed in the workplace may count towards the final ITQ. The following modules are available at ITQ levels 1, 2 and 3.

• Mandatory Module: Make selective use of IT
• Optional Modules:
B: Operate a computer
C: IT maintenance for users
D: IT trouble-shooting for users
E: IT security for users
F: Artwork and imaging software
G: Internet and intranets
H: Email
I: Word processing software
J: Spreadsheet software
K: Database software
L: Website software
M: Presentation software
N: Specialist or bespoke software
O: Evaluate the Impact of IT
P: Use IT systems
Q: Use IT to exchange information
R: Sector Specific Unit

About Training Synergy

With over 300 training personnel working on projects across the UK at any one time and a turnover in excess of £8m, Training Synergy is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of freelance IT trainers.

Training Synergy provides a range of training services to support all types and size of training programme, from initial consulting right through to project-managed implementation. It also provides logistics and logistical services to support clients’ ongoing training needs.

Training Synergy is part of the Synergy Group (formed in 1997 and now with an annual turnover of some £40m). Training Synergy has grown from £3m turnover in 2004 to £8m turnover in 2005. It delivers some 40,000 training days a year and has over 7,000 trainers on its database.

Its clients include Accenture, AXA Insurance, BT, Ernst & Young, Gap, HSBC, Ladbrokes and Royal & Sun Alliance.

Further Information from:
Daniel Hanlon / David Field, Synergy, 0800 072 5900 or 020 7556 1140 /1141
Stephen Fletcher, Broadskill, 0845 050 5353 or 07968 626999
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 01727 860405

Company: Bob Little Press & PR
Contact Name: Bob Little
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Contact Phone: +44 1 727 860405

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