Other News In Brief

New Applied Intelligence Assured Skills Academy Announced

A new Applied Intelligence (AI) Assured Skills Academy by KPMG and Belfast Met, offering 20 high quality training places, has been announced by Economy Minister Gordon Lyons.

Funded by the Department for the Economy, the Assured Skills Academy will see successful applicants receive training for roles as a Data Scientist or Data Engineer in KPMG’s Centre of Excellence following nine weeks of training delivered by Belfast Met.

Minister Lyons said: "I am very pleased to announce this Assured Skills Academy with KPMG, focussing on the cutting edge area of Applied Intelligence.

"This is the fifth Assured Skills Academy with KPMG, following the announcement in February 2020 that the company is creating 200 new jobs, with the potential to fill 160 of those through Assured Skills Academies.

"With no experience needed, this is a fantastic opportunity to join a multinational company with an expanding presence in Northern Ireland and I urge anyone who is interested and eligible to apply."

Open to applications from people with at least a 2:2 degree in any discipline, or a level 5 qualification in an ICT subject the Assured Skills Academy will see participants receive industry-relevant pre-employment training with Belfast Met from 4 April until 3 June 2022.

Participants who successfully complete the Academy will be guaranteed an interview for a Consulting Analyst position at KPMG’s Belfast Centre of Excellence.

The Applied Intelligence (AI) Assured Skills Academy will be delivered at Belfast Met. During the Academy participants can expect to become proficient in areas such as Intermediate Excel for AI and Data, PL-900, DP-900, AI-900, Python in the context of AI, Advanced Python, Capstone Project-Application of Learning and DP-100.

Participants will also receive £155 per week training allowance.

Applications for the KPMG Applied Intelligence Assured Skills Academy are open now and close at noon on Friday 25 February.

Kilkeel Hall To Benefit From £2m Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme

Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots has visited Glenloughan Orange Hall in Kilkeel, set to be one of the first rural halls to benefit from a £2million refurbishment fund.

During his visit Minister Poots saw the poor condition of the hll which highlighted the need to provide financial assistance to rural community and voluntary organisations to help make their facilities fit for purpose.

Minister Poots said: "The aim of the £2million Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme is to deliver capital refurbishments to help keep community facilities viable, remain sustainable and identify new volunteers.
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"Rural community halls are vital for those who use them. They provide a gathering place where people can feel involved in their local community and supported in their lives.

"This pilot scheme aims to alleviate some of the pressures on local rural community groups and will help to sustain and support these vital spaces. We are providing each successful applicant with up to £40,000 to carry out the vital work to these crucial local facilities."

Consultation Launched On Proposed Dungiven Park and Ride

A new public consultation has been launched on the proposed new Park and Ride at Dungiven by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

The facility which will be located to the southwest of Dungiven town, at the new Feeny Road Junction along the A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe dual carriageway, will provide 207 spaces, (including 10 disabled spaces) as well as bus shelters and cycle racks. 

Minister Mallon said: "Last year I was delighted to announce plans for a new Park and Ride at Dungiven and I am pleased today to launch the next phase of this process with the opening of a pre planning application community consultation which will allow us to share more detail with the local community and respond to any comments. 

"I am committed to delivering sustainable infrastructure that will transform communities and improve lives. I want to create more opportunities for people to walk, wheel, cycle and use public transport as we know this not only leads to improved physical and mental wellbeing, it also helps tackle the climate crisis.

"One of the key advantages of the new Park and Ride which will provide over 200 spaces is its location immediately adjacent to the new A6 dual carriageway, a strategically important route as it connects the North West to Belfast and beyond. My Department has worked closely with Translink to consider the operational requirements of the Park & Ride for public transport. The facility will allow users to avail of express bus services on the A6, providing connections between Derry, Belfast and Dublin. The site will also be accessible for other bus and coach services.

"Importantly, the scheme will also include active travel provision with the development of a shared footway / cycleway which will provide connectivity with Dungiven. This will help to promote active travel in line with my commitment to create greener infrastructure and encourage people to walk and cycle."

The Pre-Application Community Consultation commences today and closes on 25 April and it is being held online in response public health guidance aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Departmental officials will also be participating in a Public Online Information Event on 10 February from 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm to engage with the local community.

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