HC Deb 21 June 2004 vol 422 cc1193-4W
Mr. Simon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his targets are for improving the information and communication technology (ICT) skills base of staff within(a) his Department and (b) its agencies; and what method he uses to certify the competence levels achieved by stall receiving training in ICT. [173713]

Fiona Mactaggart

Through the formal performance and development reporting process line managers would normally assess the competencies of staff in using information and communication technology (ICT) to carry out their work.

The target for the Home Office and its agencies (excluding non-departmental public bodies) is for all staff to obtain the standard competency level in the computer systems that they use regularly (e.g. Word processing).

The Home Office has developed a strategy that identifies the skills required and creates opportunities for staff to develop and make best use of the technology available to them. Across the Home Office and its agencies we have defined IT competencies that are aligned with European standards, such as the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). This is the internationally recognised qualification used in over 125 European countries, which enables people to demonstrate their competence in computer skills.

As part of the rollout of new PC software across the Home Office and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate the Home Office intends to provide access to electronic learning tools for all core computer systems.

Furthermore the Home Office will also provide opportunities for staff to gain advanced level competencies and qualification through the British Computer Society and the internationally recognised Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification.