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Relevant skills key in labour market

Northern Ireland's workforce must be skilled in the areas where jobs are being created, according to Derek Baker, permanent secretary in the Department for Employment and Learning.

Speaking at a recent careers event in Londonderry he told an audience of teachers and careers advisers that young people needed skills in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors to make the most of career opportunities available in ICT.

"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," he told the IT Industry/Teacher Engagement conference.

The event was held as part of the BringITOn Campaign, a programme funded by DEL. This interactive event aimed to provide teachers with an increased understanding of the Northern Ireland IT Industry and the rewarding job opportunities available.

Mr Baker continued: "Technology is a key driver of our economy and to ensure the sector's continued success it needs a world-class, highly skilled and effective workforce.

"If we are to be economically successful, we must ensure our young people have the opportunity to gain the necessary skills the labour market demands and offer the opportunity of prosperity and a wide range of fulfilling careers to our young people. Individuals who have STEM qualifications are in demand and are in a stronger position in today's competitive job market.

"I am determined to ensure that industry is supported to continue to provide real opportunities in innovative and technology driven businesses."

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