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Plan aimed at getting more students to choose careers in the ICT sector

A scheme has been launched to address future skills needs of the ICT sector in Northern Ireland.

Among the actions set out in the plan are initiatives to increase the number of young people choosing to study subjects and courses that are relevant to a career within the sector, an updated 'Bring IT On' campaign to highlight the range of attractive career opportunities available in the industry and interventions to promote alternative methods of recruitment into the ICT sector.

Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry said that if the full potential of the ICT sector is to be realised, more needs to be done to improve the match between the skills of the workforce and the skills employers need to help companies grow.

"This plan brings together a range of actions which have been identified by employers as being central to addressing the skills needs of the ICT sector," Mr Farry said.

"My department will be piloting a Higher Level Apprenticeship in ICT and exploring ways in which it can support employers in offering the likes of bursaries, scholarships and placements to students on approved courses."

He added: "This builds on the work the department is already taking forward such as a second cohort of the successful Software Testers Academy."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Education Minister, John O'Dowd also backed the plan.