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Helping youth on ladder of media career

By Matthew McCreary

Published 14/12/2007

A media career may become even more attainable for young people in Northern Ireland thanks to an innovative new project.



The elite academy will help to develop a new wave of talent to create the YouTube and Bebo-style concepts and media content of the future.

The Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy, comprising a consortium led by the University of Ulster and including the Belfast Metropolitan College, North West Regional College and Southern Regional College, has been selected to be part of the world's first Media Academy Network.

It will join a network of 16 other academies across the UK, launched by Culture Minister James Purnell and Skills Minister David Lammy in London yesterday.

The network will see world-leading academics, content creators, computer games developers, software programmers and creative artists working with industry to develop talent, creativity and business ideas to exploit new technologies and opportunities in broadcast television and interactive media.

Northern Ireland's success followed a one year application and industry inspection process. More than 60 consortia bid for the academy status.

Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: " The Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy will for the first time create a proper and coherent link between the television, film and digital media industry in Northern Ireland and the education and training providers.

"This provides a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that, in the future, graduates of courses are better equipped for the industry they wish to join and are provided with a clearer path to that industry, albeit still a challenging one."

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