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06/07/2012

Second Software Testers Academy Launched

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry, today launched the second cohort of the Software Testers' Academy.

The programme aims to provide graduates with the skills and experience required to take up exciting new opportunities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. Software testing and quality assurance is increasingly a key growth area in this internationally focused sector.

The Minister said: "Last week, I launched the ICT Action Plan to help match the skills of the workforce with the skills our employers need. The Software Testers’ Academy is an excellent example of how we are doing exactly that. If we are to realise the ICT sector’s full potential, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve the match between the skills of those people in the workforce and the skills our employers require to help our companies grow. This Programme proves that government, the private sector and our further education colleges can respond quickly to design a bespoke programme to fill a skills gap."

The programme has been designed by Northern Ireland's top ICT companies with support from the Department for Employment and Learning and Invest Northern Ireland under the Assured Skills initiative. It was developed collectively between government, the ICT sector and South Eastern Regional College to meet an identified skills gap.

Targeting HND or degree graduates from any discipline, the Academy will offer an intensive 14-week training programme, including a company placement, to 20 successful applicants. Successful participants will gain an industry recognised qualification and a potential offer of employment.

The Minister continued: "The results of the first cohort were outstanding – some 94% of the participants, who were all from non-IT backgrounds, secured ongoing employment in software testing. Following on from this success, we are now recruiting a second cohort, and I would encourage any unemployed graduate to consider a career in the vibrant and growing local ICT sector."

Applications to the Software Testers Academy will close on 27 July and the training programme for successful applicants will start during September and run until December 2012. The training will be delivered by the South Eastern Regional College.

(CD)

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