Ex-Russian military retrains for new careers in Internet networking

13 June 2003 Rostov-on-Don, Russia Lightwave Europe-- Cisco Networking Academy Program in Southern Russia provides ex-Armed Forces personnel with the training to become networking engineers.

13 June 2003 Rostov-on-Don, Russia Lightwave Europe--Cisco Systems has teamed up with The Institute for Vocational Training and Retraining at the Rostov State Civil Engineering University, to train former military officers in managing computer networks.

Cisco's Networking Academy Program enables officers who have been discharged from the Russian Army on medical grounds, or who have served longer than five years, to retrain and obtain qualifications to help them find employment as civilians.

Financed by the British Ministry of Defence, the institute was set up to help Russian officers transition more easily into civilian life at a time of major reform in the country's armed forces. In the last ten years, improved relations with the West and a limited Russian defence budget, have diminished Russia's armed forces while creating an opportunity for ex-military to expand their opportunities into new areas.

"This is a unique project and a great opportunity for the Institute to contribute to an information-orientated society in Russia," said Maxwell Jardim, Project Officer for the Russo-British Military Retraining Project.

"The Cisco Networking Academy Program, together with the institute's extremely enthusiastic team of instructors, will provide students a perfect grounding for facing challenging work in the civilian community."

"Demand for IT professionals is high in Russia, but employers are reluctant to employ former Armed Forces personnel as they often do not have the technical experience or skills required," said Robert Agee, General Manager Cisco Systems Russia & CIS.

"The Cisco Networking Academy Program offers an education to individuals and companies in this region, and provides students with certification which is recognised and respected throughout the world."

Cisco trained the Russian instructors, who anticipate training approximately 40 � 50 officers per year. The institute provides the networking course and the supporting literature free of charge to students.

The project is jointly managed by the British and Russian Ministries of Defence and forms part of the Russian Resettlement Project, an agreement established in September 1993 to contribute to the reform of Russia's Armed Forces and address their migration to civilian life.

About the Cisco Networking Academy Program
Cisco says its Networking Academy Program has met with tremendous success world-wide. Since the program's launch in 1997, Cisco has established more than 10,000 Academies in 151 countries. Courses are offered in nine languages to over 400,000 students around the world and there are over 154,000 graduates to date.

The program assists in preparing tomorrow's information technology (IT) workforce, bridging the digital divide and allowing students to experience true e-learning technology.

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