The Netskills service was established in 1995 as part of the JISC Electronic Libraries (e-Lib) programme. The original project was called: Network Skills for Users of the Electronic Library.
The project grew out of training offered as part of the Mailbase mailing list service. It was located in the Computing Service at Newcastle University and this has remained the home of Netskills ever since.
The original Netskills mission was:to help the UK higher education community make effective use of the Internet for teaching, research and administration.
Netskills was fully funded during the 3 years of the e-Lib programme and initially started with 3 staff - through demand for the services on offer this quickly grew to 7 staff.
From the start Netskills offered one day training courses, delivered awareness raising presentations and downloadable training materials.
Early workshop titles included:
By the end of the programme almost 1000 individuals were taking part in Netskills training events every year and most UK universities were using Netskills services.
This success meant that Netskills was able to change its status to become a service rather than a project. After the 3 years of the e-Lib programme the funding from the JISC was reduced and it now forms only a small part of the running costs. The service is primarily self funded by income generated from workshops, training materials and accreditation programmes.
In the years since the e-Lib programme Netskills has grown to a staff of 14 and has expanded the sectors it works in to embrace further education, adult learning, specialist colleges, public libraries and many others. Every university in the UK uses the service along with over 200 FE colleges and over 40 library authorities.
For more information on the development of Netskills, see the events timeline.