Last updated: 03.10.13

IT staff 'must be willing to self-train'

The most successful IT professionals are those who are willing to self-train, one expert has claimed.

According to Ian Brooks, head of innovation at multinational corporation HP, who was speaking to apprentices at the National Skills Academy for IT's IT Gold Standard Apprentice Event in London, people cannot expect success to be served up on a plate and must instead use their initiative.

His educational background includes a national diploma in technology, electrical and electronics engineering and an engineering degree, and he encouraged a similar, practical route into the IT industry during his talk, reports Computer World UK.

"You have to self-train, you have to read, you have to study. You can't expect to be spoon-fed anymore. The world is moving too fast to spoon feed the information. You earn your success in life," Mr Brooks said.

His advice comes after David Wick, managing director of European Recruitment, recently claimed engineering firms must invest in training younger staff.

The London event was organised to give the 16 to 18-year-old attendees, who already have the technical skills they need to kickstart their career in the industry, a masterclass in soft skills like networking and public speaking.

Each of the 80 apprentices in the audience were part of a programme run by the National Skills Academy for IT, which was set up alongside BT, and are currently employed by small and medium-sized businesses in one of three roles - software or web developer, database analyst or IT technician.

Mr Brooks told them it is important to be able to engage others, and without soft skills, IT workers will end up with a good idea that no one is willing to listen to.

Bosses employing apprentices could turn to the services of training provider which boasts a number of online courses in soft skills, including a module in presentation skills, the principles of managing information and producing documents and personal learning and thinking.