UKFast equips teachers with vital digital skills

Article date: Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:11 GMT

UKFast teachers with teachers from Loreto College and Oldham College

Cloud hosting firm UKFast is launching a series of in-house Linux workshops for teachers and collaborators, as the firm continues its campaign to bridge the digital skills gap in the region.

The firm aims to close the gap between ICT education and the skills needed in the industry by equipping teachers with the tools and qualifications to develop the next generation of digital superstars.

UKFast designed the three-day Linux course, which is approved by the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), to inspire teachers and encourage exam boards to adopt the operating system as a core part of the ICT curriculum.

Aaron Saxton, Director of Training and Education at UKFast, said: “Providing teachers with industry recognised digital skills, such as Linux, means they can pass these skills on to their pupils. It enables them to deliver innovative curriculum projects focused around the computer science agenda and the modern digital business. The benefit to young people is that they gain invaluable industry skills that businesses like UKFast look for.”

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “These courses are amazing for teachers and we’ve received great feedback so far. This type of training will only help to improve the outlook for the region’s digital industry. In addition, the workshops allow our partners to gain a better understanding of the platforms and services we deliver to them, which is beneficial both ways.”

Linux is a popular operating system, particularly in the hosting industry, where it is used in more than a third of global hosted applications.

Because of the high demand for Linux engineers in the industry, Jones believes the skills gap in the digital sector is something “both schools and businesses have a responsibility to address”.

The Linux workshops consist of two days of classroom and practical lab activities, touching on a range of topics, from software licensing and creating scripts to managing hardware. Exams for the LPI Linux Essentials Certificate take place in the company’s purpose-built in-house PearsonVUE testing centre.

UKFast is the only LPI Approved Training Provider (ATP) in the North of England and has developed a partnership with the world’s leading providers of Linux exams and training, supporting the firm’s mission to upskill the educational and local community. 

Bill Quinn, who represents the LPI in the UK and Ireland and attended the event last month, said: “There is a large amount of evidence to support a critical job shortage in the IT sector, in particular for people with Linux and open source skills. At the same time, there are a number of organisations talking about the problem but not offering a solution.

“It is really positive to see a company like UKFast trying to address this problem directly, whilst at the same time sharing their knowledge to support local Academia.”

UKFast works with 45 schools in Greater Manchester, delivering masterclasses and teacher development, code clubs and immersion days to over 35,000 children.  

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