Pupils from Ballycastle get interactive with ICT

Pupils from Ballycastle High School were among those taking part at a special ICT careers promotion event at the University of Ulster, Coleraine delivered by Momentum, Northern Ireland’s ICT Federation and supported by the Department for Employment and Learning, e-skills UK and the ICT industry.

This interactive event is part of the Bring IT on programme (www.bringitonni.info) aimed at capturing the imagination of students by throwing a spotlight on the exciting career opportunities, types of work and new refreshing attitudes to being an ICT professional.

The continued and growing significance of the sector is key to the main aims of the initiative, persuading young people to take up Science and Maths A-level courses with the exciting prospect of a challenging ICT career in mind.

Despite the economic downturn, ICT continues to be a thriving industry in Northern Ireland, one which has experienced substantial local growth in recent years. It is estimated that more than 2,000 new employees are needed each year to join the local computing workforce and to sustain this growth it is vital that future generations of suitably educated and skilled graduates enter the sector. This series of BringITon events has been organised in direct response to this growing demand.

Pupils spent the day with representatives from the Northern Ireland ICT industry and academics learning about the variety of career opportunities available in the sector. Within the varied itinerary, the pupils watched videos showcasing what an engaging and thrilling career in ICT can be, took part in quizzes and group discussions with industry ambassadors, and came away with information packs full of interesting information to help inform pupils on future directions within an ICT career.

Commenting on the events Dr Ian Graham, Chief Executive of Momentum stated: “Momentum is delighted to be part of a joined up initiative involving the Department of Employment and Learning and e-skills UK and would like to congratulate each for their support.

“These fun and interactive events have highlighted the importance of maths and science and how these subjects are connected to ICT, but also works towards dispelling the misconceptions about ICT careers.”

“Despite the economic downturn, the local ICT industry is moving into an exciting era and there are now over 700 companies in the sector in Northern Ireland all looking for highly skilled new entrants.

“To guarantee Northern Ireland’s future ICT skills base it is vital that we ensure that the next generation of highly motivated and highly skilled workers is in place. I believe that these events will help inspire new talent and ignite in them an interest which may encourage them to pursue a satisfying and challenging career in the local computing industry.”