‘Bring IT on’ say North Coast College kids

North Coast Integrated College students  Zara Watton and Courtney Newton with Joanne Sweeney (Project Associate Sentinus) during the programme to teach young people about the skills required to make it in the IT industry.
North Coast Integrated College students Zara Watton and Courtney Newton with Joanne Sweeney (Project Associate Sentinus) during the programme to teach young people about the skills required to make it in the IT industry.

A programme to teach young people about the skills required to make it in the IT industry visited students at Coleraine’s North Coast Integrated College recently.

The Department for the Economy funded Bring IT On programme has just been launched and is being rolled out in schools across the country by Sentinus in association with Belfast Met in a bid to fill Northern Ireland’s IT skills gap.

The initiative which involves school visits shines the spotlight on the importance of IT skills for the future of our economy and job market and aims to inspire young people to consider a career in the industry. It outlines the qualifications required to obtain an IT job and the benefits of working in the sector.

Belfast Met Director of Curriculum, Dr Jonathan Heggarty, who attended the launch at the college’s Titanic Quarter Campus, said: “The IT industry in Northern Ireland is continuing to grow and develop at pace in a range of areas including software engineering, computing infrastructure, data analytics and cyber security and this is set to continue.

“The IT sector is of vital importance to our economy and as a college we are continuously adapting and advancing our curriculum in response to this demand in order to ensure that our learners have the advanced skills and knowledge to enter the workplace of today and tomorrow. The Bring IT On initiative is vital for getting pupils thinking about IT as an extremely exciting and rewarding career option.

“There are amazing opportunities in Northern Ireland for those with IT skills including a wide range of job roles and the encouraging fact that the salary for a person working in IT is on average 61 per cent higher than other industries.”

Bill Connor, Chief Executive, of Sentinus, an educational charity, which works with schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland to deliver STEM programmes to young people, said: “The significant growth which the IT sector in Northern Ireland has seen in recent years is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future, making the industry a vital part of the regional economy. 

“We hear announcements, almost on a weekly basis, about many high value jobs being created and the Bring IT On campaign aims to inform young people about the opportunities open to them.  To support this expansion it is really important we continue to ensure there is a pool of talented young people willing to take up careers in IT.”

For more information visit belfastmet.ac.uk, sentinus.co.uk or email bringiton@belfastmet.ac.uk.