22nd Dec 08

First Cohort of Cisco’s Global Talent Acceleration Program Graduates in India

Initiative Aims to Narrow Gap Between Supply and Demand of Regional Networking Talent

BANGALORE, India, Dec. 22, 2008 -- Furthering its goal to develop homegrown technical skills and career certifications through education initiatives, Cisco marked the first graduation of students from its Indian Global Talent Acceleration Program (GTAP) here last week.

Launched in October 2008, the Cisco® GTAP is part of an ongoing investment in the region aimed at developing next-generation local network consulting engineers for the company. The 13 graduates hail from the inaugural class of associate network consulting engineers.

Officiating at the graduation ceremony, GTAP  Program Director John Livingston commented: “The graduation of the first cohort of GTAP students in India is a milestone for Cisco in our efforts to create skilled local staff and provide our customers and partners with improved direct support. By increasing the pool of skilled and certified associate and professional engineers, the program will help enable Cisco to better serve customers in India as well as in the wider Asia Pacific region. Our investment will help to foster a climate of confidence in which business and government leaders commit to major new projects."

GTAP has particular relevance in India, where the surging economic development will create a demand for 118,000 more networking professionals by next year, according to a 2004-2009 IDC report on global skills. The program is designed to be sustainable. The delegates receive a salary and go through the training in relatively small groups of 16 people. This enables GTAP to put a strong emphasis on technical and professional training, mentorship and on-the-job training. Entry- or associate-level candidates for the program were all recent college graduates, and mid- or professional-level students have significant prior experience with Cisco networking. Datacraft, Fast Lane, and Global Knowledge, all Cisco Learning Solutions Partners, offer this program in India.

The GTAP program is accelerating rapidly across the globe and now boasts three facilities: the Jordan initiative (launched in November 2007); the Johannesburg facility, the ‘hub’ for programs in emerging Africa; and the newest facility in Bangalore.

Furthermore, Cisco recently announced that it has started recruiting candidates from Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana to enroll in the GTAP program in Johannesburg. This is the first time the program is being extended to delegates outside South Africa. Successful candidates will start training in January 2009.

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