29/11/2012

ICT Apprenticeship Programme Launched At South West College

The first Higher Level ICT Apprenticeship programme has been launched at South West College’s Image Centre in Enniskillen.

The pilot programme seeks to equip students with skills to prepare them for I.T. roles including Software and Web Developer, Desktop Support, Infrastructure Support, Server Support and Cloud Developer.

It will also offer Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist accreditation.

The programme was launched by Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry.

The Minister said: "The importance of the ICT sector cannot be under-estimated. It is the driving force of a globally competitive economy, underpinning innovation, competitiveness and long term prosperity.

"The ICT sector has not only survived the current economic climate, it has continued to grow. However, the sector needs more suitably skilled people and my Department’s ICT Action Plan sets out actions we will be taking in collaboration with ICT businesses to address these issues. One of the key actions within the plan is the delivery of a higher level apprenticeship which I am launching today."

He commended South West College in developing the programme. It was introduced as a result of the ICT Working Group, chaired by the Minister.

Employers McAvoy Group, Concept NI, Computer Centre, Meteor Electrical Ltd and MJH Insurance have signed-up to take on apprentices and offer on the job learning.

Malachy McAleer, Director at South West College said: "South West College is the first college Microsoft has chosen to partner with and offer its globally recognised accreditation. That’s important for us and is a very impressive international endorsement of our work. The Further Education sector is leading the way to prosperity by equipping the talent pool skills and know-how that make Northern Ireland an attractive place to invest and work in."

(IT/GK)

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