By Daniel Hunter

Leading IT entrepreneur Scott Fletcher welcomed the strong growth figures for the tech sector announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week but warned that future success would be dependent upon proving quality training for young workers in all sectors.

“The good news about the GDP figures is that growth is reported in pretty much all business and manufacturing sectors,” said Mr Fletcher who is the chairman and founder of UK cloud infrastructure specialists ANS Group.

The ONS announced this week that the Gross Domestic Product of the UK rose by 0.8% between July and September which is the fastest growth for three years. They reported growth in the manufacturing (0.9%), service (0.7%) and construction (2.5%) sectors.

Joe Grice from the ONS said that ‘nearly two-thirds of the fall in output has now been recovered’.

“We have been in recession for so long that as the economy returns to growth all industries will be experiencing skill shortages. We have recently created our ‘Cloud Academy’ to address this problem in our own sector,” said Mr Fletcher.

The ANS ‘Cloud Academy’ that will provide industry led training for approximately 60 apprentices in Cloud technology every year. It is hoped that the academy will see five new candidates joining ANS each month.

Mr Fletcher also said that there were plans for an ANS apprenticeship academy that in the future would accept candidates sponsored by other IT businesses.

ANS Group recently reported their ninth consecutive year of profit growth. Pre-tax profits for their last financial year were 72% higher at £3.1 million.

“These positive results are a testament to the quality and dedication of our work force, which is now approaching 200,” said Mr Fletcher.

“Our growth is dependent upon being able to recruit high quality individuals, with the working knowledge and expertise to deliver solutions that often exceed our customer’s expectations," he said.

Mr Fletcher has also recently become a non-executive director of the University of Manchester’s technology transfer company UMI3.

“We are always open to supplementing our in-house technology transfer expertise with experienced entrepreneurs who know what it is like to build a successful company from scratch and Scott fits that bill perfectly," said Clive Rowland UMI3's chief executive.