Data Centre Bootcamp, a new scheme which aims to help unemployed graduates and ex military personnel find work in the 'factories of the future' has launched today.
The scheme was set up in response to operators of data centres - vast warehouses packed with tens of thousands of computer servers - reporting major difficulties in finding suitable recruits with the right skills to join the industry, despite large numbers of unemployed graduates in the UK.
Key sought after skills include electrical and mechanical engineering, IT and tech sales.
It is hoped that the 10 day intensive pilot scheme devised by the Data Centre Alliance, and held at the University of East London's Dockland's campus, will turn 21 attendees into employable recruits ready to step into the industry.
"The average age of people in the data centre industry is fifty-something and there's a major skills shortage coming in this vital industry," said Simon Campbell-Whyte, executive director the Data Centre Alliance.
"We hope this Bootcamp will give many unemployed graduates, and some of the highly able people now being forced out of our armed forces, the extra skills they need to become credible interview candidates for data centre employers."
If successful, there are plans to roll out the scheme on a much larger scale in London and throughout the UK.
Data centres process and store electronic data held by Internet companies such as email and cloud content, and are vital in keeping the web services including e-commerce functioning. Often the size of five or six football pitches, the industry is one of the fastest growing in the UK.
The 21 'Bootcamp-ees' on the pilot are mostly out-of-work Londoners including graduates of UEL, Queen Mary and Middlesex Universities. Three are forces leavers.