IT skills plan for homesOn 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Organisations are to be encouraged, again, to offer their staff HomeComputing Initiatives (HCI) schemes as part of a renewed push to increase ITliteracy in the UK. Guidelines are due to be published on 26 January by the Government’s Officeof the e-Envoy to build on the commitment outlined in the Skills Strategy paperwhich aimed to help adults gain IT literacy as a third ‘skill for life’alongside literacy and numeracy. Employer-provided HCIs will enable companies to loan computers to theiremployees as a tax-free benefit. The added appeal for HR and training professionals could come from thepotential to reduce National Insurance contributions, but many employers havebeen slow to appreciate the benefits, despite tax breaks being in place since1999, and rallying calls for IT empowerment from prominent government figures.Chancellor Gordon Brown, for example, has been vocal about “bridging thedigital divide” since October 2000. Home-study modules are usually provided in the schemes, commonly coveringthe European Computer Driving Licence. The computers should appeal to employeeswho want to boost their IT skills and to have an first or second computer athome to be used for general ‘family learning’. Two organisations which recently took up the HCI option are the Royal Mailand the Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB). The RLSB implemented itthroughout 2003 for its workforce at its Kent HQ and engineering factory andemployment services in North London, where computer access is limited. “Accessibility and inclusiveness are clearly important and we need toreflect this in the benefits available to staff,” said senior RLSB ITtechnician Simon Perryman. “The board was equally convinced by thepotential to increase IT literacy across the organisation. In fact, one of thesenior managers was the first to sign up to the scheme,” he said. www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/specialist/salary_sacrifice.pdf Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.