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1998-02-17 23:04:51


Programmer Shortage: British Inmates Kept Out of Y2K Industry



A British firm that had planned to employ y2k programmers inside the prison system has abandoned its plan.

Too bad. The proposed scheme was sufficiently bizarre to call attention to the shortage of programmers.

This is from COMPUTER WORLD (Feb. 12).

* * * * * * * *

ICL has ditched controversial plans to recruit prison inmates for year 2000 work, having decided they do not have the necessary skills. In a highly publicised move, the systems and services giant last month announced it was in talks with the Prison Service about the possibility of enlisting inmates with IT skills on to its millennium projects. . . .

An ICL spokesman said the team found several inmates with desktop publishing and spreadsheet skills but there was a lack of the necessary legacy programming language skills, such as Cobol, desperately needed for year 2000 work. However, he added that ICL had not ruled out future collaborations. . . .

Last year, ICL started a campaign to encourage ex-employees to come back and work on millennium projects. So far, it has secured contracts with 30 returners and has had a further 300 CVs, including some from non-employees overseas.


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