Friday, March 10, 2006

Intel Chairman Says IT Industry is Ageist

According to a story by Tom Espiner for ZDNet UK, Craig Barrett, chairman of the board of Intel, criticised the IT industry for being ageist when it comes to recruitment and urged older IT professionals to combat this bias by retraining. Barrett, speaking at roundtable event in conjunction with Age Concern, said "[w]orkplaces should recognise the need for skills, as opposed to having to train people from scratch." and that businesses should focus on ongoing training for staff so they don't become obsolete, while governments should subsidise retraining for the over 50's.
But IT professionals also need to play a role in their own training according to Tristan Wilkinson, the UK public sector director for Intel told ZDNet UK. "If your skill-set is associated with a technology that's approaching the end of its natural life, then you are faced with a choice — you can reskill [sic], or you can follow that technology to the end," he said. "You need to audit yourself and be aware of changes in technology."

However Industry watchers have warned that public sector organisations as well as banks and other financial services companies face a potential legacy skills time bomb. As an aging population of technology workers retire, there could be a severe lack of expertise in programming languages such as COBOL and Fortran.
Source: "'IT industry is ageist' says Intel chairman" ZDNet UK News(March 9, 2006)

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