Belfast Telegraph

IT course aims to fill the gap for skilled staff in industry

By lucy mcADAM

The Department of Employment and Learning is tackling the growing demand for skilled IT workers in Northern Ireland with the launch of a new accredited course.

The Software Professionals Course is a 25-week classroom-based training programme aimed at equipping non-IT degree, HND or equivalent graduates with the skills and experience needed to take up a job in the industry.

The programme will provide accreditation of the industry-recognised IT qualification Level 5 BTEC Software Professionals Course.

Participants will be paid a weekly training allowance of £150.

Over the next three years, DEL said it expects to fund 250 posts.

"The ICT Skills Action Plan challenges Government to help match the skills of the workforce with the skills our employers need," Dr Stephen Farry, the Employment and Learning Minister said. "The ICT sector is the driving force of a globally competitive economy, underpinning innovation, competitiveness and long term prosperity."

Applications can be submitted online before 4pm on Friday, January 17, 2014 by logging on to: http://spc.mindmill.co.uk.

Experience is not required but applicants must possess a non IT HND, degree or equivalent in any discipline.

To enter into the programme, provided their qualifications meet the entry criteria, applicants will be required to complete an online aptitude test. Their score will then determine a select few to complete a final supervised test.

The final 40 successful candidates will begin their classroom-based training on February 3, 2014. The training will be delivered in Belfast and Bangor by Belfast Metropolitan College and South Eastern Regional College.

This course is in addition to other ICT Academy programmes such as the Cloud Academy, Software Testers' Academy and the Data Analytics Training Academy funded and managed by the Department for Employment and Learning.

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