Northern Ireland's youth urged to consider careers in digital sector
Young people in Northern Ireland have been urged to consider a career in the digital sector.
Employment Minister Stephen Farry said young people had to equip themselves with the right skills to join the digital sector, where jobs were growing by around 10% a year.
Industry body Momentum aims to increase jobs in the sector - which currently employs 28,000 people - by 20,000 by 2018. The minister was speaking at a Digital South Event in south Belfast. Dr Farry said: "To grow our economy we need to ensure our local workforce has the right skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).
"These are skills for which we are seeing more and more jobs being created. For example, the digital sector in Northern Ireland is expanding by around 10% every year."
Digital South was launched last year by the South Belfast Partnership Board to support digital technologies.
Young people at last week's event in the Ulster Hall were able to learn about opportunities in the sector from speakers and demonstrations.
The minister said: "Technology is a key driver of our economy and to ensure continued success it needs a world-class, highly skilled and effective workforce.
"I hope that many of those here today will be inspired to follow a career path in this exciting and rewarding sector."
Briege Arthurs, chief executive of South Belfast Partnership, said: "Our aim is to connect our schools and community organisations to business and industry. It is important for us to nurture the talent of our young people and prepare them for tomorrow's jobs," she told the audience.
Peter Dixon, chairman of South Belfast Economic Forum and chief executive of Phoenix Gas, said: "Digital South places an emphasis on developing the pipeline of skills needed to ensure companies can recruit at the levels they need."