Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting HARINGEY to 80360, or email us
Wood Green training centre has IT factor
AN IT and business management training centre whose aim is to bridge the gap between academic studies and the job market celebrated opening new facilities in Wood Green last week.
One-Tech, a private training company which first opened in 1994, attracts hundreds of IT graduates who are unable to gain employment, by offering practical training in areas such as web design or networking to the industry standard including Microsoft and Cisco.
Its new centre, found in the heart of Wood Green, boasts spacious new classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards, fresh IT suites and a student common room, and was opened by the outgoing Haringey mayor — Councillor Bernice Vanier.
Principal Len Sutherland, a former Middlesex University lecturer, set up the school after realising that many IT graduates, such as those with computer science degrees, were comfortable with the academic side of things, but had little practical experience.
Mr Sutherland said: "As a former lecturer, I understand what skills graduates leave with, and what skills they need. My advice to anyone who wants to start a career in IT is to an industry-accredited course first, get some experience, and then consider degrees and and postgraduate courses.
"The dedicated training facility is in response to increasing demand for our training courses. There was a need to find a site with good transport links and not too far from our existing site, also in Wood Green."
The principal said he believed One-Tech, which offers 150 different courses, was an asset to a borough like Haringey, where unemployment is among the highest in the country, as it helps to attract learners who may not be able to afford to go away to university.
Its first site, also in the High Road, will serve as the dedicated exam centre, accredited by Pearson Vue and Prometric.
One-Tech also helps to develop the IT skills of an organisations employees, and is accredited to provide training for the armed forces.
Former web design student Ozlem Sharifi, 26, of Wood Green, said: "I chose to come here because it was on my doorstep. I can walk here, and that's very important to me.
"I like designing logos, but I also recognised that the internet is now at the heart of business. A large percentage of a company's business is generated by their online presence. People now search online for products, services or a particular business. Imagine how much profit could be lost when someone tries to search for your business, and they can't find you. I can now help businesses address that."
Mrs Sharifi who set up Desire Designs is now working on a major website — mywoodgreen.com — for the Wood Green Business Forum.
Another pupil Livonne Henry, 48, of Harringay, said she enrolled at One-Tech to increase her chances of getting a job.
The mother-of-three said: "I never imagined myself in this environment, especially not at my age. But I realised that no matter what job you go for, you need to be able to use a computer.
"I am very enthusiastic about it. When I come home from school, and tell my kids what I've been doing, it's like I'm the young one, and they're the old mum."