Interim emerges as training goliath

Interim emerges as training goliath

International training group Interim Technology shook the local IT training market last week when it announced the acquisition of eight Australian organisations, including IT education and training provider Computer Power Group (CPG).

The organisation, which will be known collectively across the Asia-Pacific region as Interim Technology, is now claiming that it has a stranglehold on the local training market.

Persevering through buyout talks with several interested suitors, Peter James, ex-CPG director and now president and CEO of Interim Technology, described the final merger as one of mutual benefit.

"The Interim Group has a footprint in this region and we can now boast to be the largest private IT trainer in the Asia-Pacific region, already having had 50,000 students pass through our doors," he claimed.

He agreed with an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) report that Australia is facing a shortage of 30,000 skilled people.

"So we are putting our money where our mouth is," James asserted, "by offering 12 scholarships, valued at $120,000, to anyone who has the aptitude for IT but may not have the money."

The winners will be selected by State Government and AIIA officials and will be able to participate in Interim Technology courses.

"Universities and TAFEs are doing all they can but demand is so great we need to get people in from other industries and reskill the existing workforce."

Interim Technology hopes to further participate in this process with the establishment of five operational divisions comprised of previously disparate organisations.

The training arms of the business are Interim Technology Training Institute, previously CPG; Corporate Education, a combination of Management Technical Education and Advanced Systems; and Learning Media, the publishing side of the business from Blue Pond.

"With the Training Institutes we aim to bring people in from outside the industry to increase the resource pool and build a bridge between users and high-level technicians," claimed Beng Yeoh, Interim's managing director of education.

The Corporate Training body attracts the other 50 per cent of the students at Interim and utilises alliances with software vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, Lotus and Novell to offer certified courses to IT employees wanting to diversify and renew their existing skill sets.

The two service divisions will be known as Interim Technology Associates and Interim Technology Solutions, with the former made up of Equus, Computer People and Parity People, all IT recruitment firms, and the latter derived from CPG. Responsible for the placement of trainees, the associate division has created a loyalty program in the hope of inspiring long-term client commitment.

"Government, telecommunications and financial industries will be the predominant spenders in the Australian marketplace," according to Bart Vogel, managing director of the new section.

"We try to anticipate these demands and create a whole-of-career service by bringing new people into IT, training them, placing them in the industry, and keeping them skilled up."

The second services division, Interim Solutions, stresses the importance of convergence between a company's Web site and its back-office systems, the integration of e-commerce solutions, and traditional business methodologies.

"This is a permanent catch-up process," Vogel explained. "We address the issue by providing system development and integration, Internet application development and software quality management."

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