Thirty people will be recruited as apprentices by IT businesses in the public and private sector in a new scheme announced today.
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Finance Minister Sammy Wilson launched the scheme, which will fill software development and IT infrastructure roles in the public and private sectors.
Companies taking part include Citi, Kainos, Liberty IT, Eircom NI, Sopra Group, Fujitsu, Consilium and IT Assist, the IT service for government departments.
Consilium recently signed up to the Belfast Telegraph's continuing 100 Jobs In 100 Days campaign, with a pledge to create two apprenticeships.
The paper's campaign aims to encourage companies to take on apprentices by reminding them of the business benefits of doing so.
DEL recently said it was stopping funding for apprenticeships for the over-25s except for those in the 'economically important' sectors of IT, financial services, food and drink, advanced engineering, life and health sciences and creative industries.
The Employment Minister said: "The ICT sector is of critical importance to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy and to achieving the aims set out in our economic strategy.
"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 need to help our companies grow.
"The individuals who are successful in being recruited as ICT Apprentices on this scheme will be given the opportunity to develop skills, achieve qualifications and enhance their career prospects while helping employers develop their business and raise the prosperity of Northern Ireland."
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said: "This innovative new apprenticeship scheme presents an excellent opportunity to offer young people an exciting career in ICT and to ensure that when they are seeking employment they have the necessary skills to take advantage of potential opportunities.
"In addition, this consolidated approached by the public and private sector demonstrates we can work effectively together for the betterment of Northern Ireland."