£360k boost for HAPPY project

SOCIAL Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced local funding of £360,738 for developing computer applications.

This project entitled Improving Hopes, Aspirations, Potential and Prospects in the Youth (IM HAPPY) involves the School of Computing and Information Engineering (SCIE) at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

The aim of the project is to introduce learners of all ages to the creative art of designing, developing, documenting and presenting computer applications and is targeted at the Neighbourhood Renewal residents of Ballysally, Millburn and Churchlands areas.

The Minister said: “This programme has the potential to equip the most disadvantaged in our society with new skills and educational development designed to meet future labour market needs.

The computing industry has continued to create jobs in recent years despite the recession.

“It is a sector which can offer employment at various levels and by increasing the skills base in the local area, Coleraine is enhancing its potential to encourage potential investors to the town.

“In the current economic climate it is important that people place strong emphasis on upskilling to compete in what is a challenging economic market and give them themselves the best chance that they can when applying for jobs.”

The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy “People and Places,” published in June 2003, sets out governments proposals for closing the gap between the quality of life for people in the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of society.