Prime minister Tony Blair’s #97m action plan to tackle the millennium timebomb left some wondering where he was going to find his army of 20,000 ‘bug busters’.
In his speech at Monday’s bug conference in London, Blair (above) said #40m would be used to set up technology centres to provide training for businesses and a further #30m would be provided to small and medium-sized businesses in the form of #1,300 grants to help them train bug busters to defuse the timebomb in their systems.
Local Business Links agencies will be the mechanism through which grants are distributed and training is delivered. Baker Tilly partner Teresa Graham, a director of Business Links London South, said: ‘Business Links are gearing up for it, but my concern is whether there are enough people out there capable of being trained in sufficient time to ensure SMEs can be made compliant.’
The government also raised Action 2000’s budget from #1m to #17m and will give #10m to a World Bank fund to tackle the problem internationally.
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