Local businesses plug gap in IT

Pictured are (l-r) Paula McCloskey from Specialist Joinery Group, Maghera, one of the nine participating companies and Camilla Long, Career Encode facilitator and Director of Bespoke Communications.
Pictured are (l-r) Paula McCloskey from Specialist Joinery Group, Maghera, one of the nine participating companies and Camilla Long, Career Encode facilitator and Director of Bespoke Communications.

Nine businesses based in Mid Ulster, the North West and North Antrim have joined forces in a unique collaboration to launch ‘Career Encode’, an Earn As You Learn Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing for school leavers to address a significant local IT skills shortage.

It is believed to be the first time that a group of companies in Northern Ireland has ever pooled their resources independently to increase the supply of IT professionals.

The official launch of the initiative took place recently at Specialist Joinery Group in Maghera, one of the participating nine companies.

Working in collaboration with Northern Regional College, the nine companies will offer jobs to local school leavers and career changers, enabling them to get an internationally recognised Foundation Degree accredited by Ulster University in the process.

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

Camilla Long, Director of Bespoke Communications, which specialises in training and leadership development, is acting as an independent facilitator on behalf of the nine employers.

“Technology underpins each one of the participating companies’ success. In the current climate they are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right skills in their local area.

“fAs a result, they have effectively taken steps to develop their own labour force via this innovative Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing,” she said.

For further information log onto www.careerencode.com