Move to address need for skilled IT staff

Connor Hamilton who has secured a Career Encode apprenticeship with CDE Global (Cookstown) ; and Camilla Long, Career Encode facilitator.
Connor Hamilton who has secured a Career Encode apprenticeship with CDE Global (Cookstown) ; and Camilla Long, Career Encode facilitator.

Businesses here in need of skilled IT staff are being urged to sign up for Career Encode Earn as You Learn Apprenticeship initiative.

A recent initiative by nine companies from Mid Ulster, the North West and North Antrim to join forces in a unique collaboration to address local IT skills shortages has proved such a success that they are now calling on nine more companies to come on board for the next phase of the programme. The businesses, all of whom invest heavily in IT, collaborated with Northern Regional College to launch Career Encode, an innovative Earn As You Learn Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing for school leavers. Over 85 school-leavers and individuals considering a career change applied, exceeding all expectations. Due to the high calibre of applicants a total of 10 apprenticeships have been offered and are due to begin as early as June this year.

The nine participating companies are Specialist Joinery Group and FP McCann, Maghera; Bloc Blinds, Magherafelt; CDE Global and Mallon Technology, Cookstown; Kilrea-based Acorn IT Solutions; Coleraine based Spatialest; Randox, Crumlin; and Toomebridge-based SDC Trailers.

Camilla Long, Director of Bespoke Communications, who is acting as an independent facilitator for the nine employers, said: “Recruiting new staff, and in particular IT staff, is one of the major challenges facing businesses today. The companies who took part in the Career Encode pilot were finding it increasingly difficult to find the right skills in their local area. As a result, they decided to take steps to develop their own labour force via this innovative Earn as You Learn Higher-Level Apprenticeship in Computing. We had a phenomenal response to the launch of the initiative. We are now looking for a further nine companies to join the second phase of the programme.”

For further information log onto www.careerencode.com