EMPLOYMENT and Learning Minister Dr. Stephen Farry today (Monday 2 September) launched the new Cloud Academy.
The Cloud Academy aims to provide graduates with the skills and experience required to take up exciting new ICT opportunities in Cloud computing with training designed and delivered by Belfast Metropolitan College.
The Minister said: “Cloud Technology is an exciting new area of development identified by employers. Northern Ireland’s advanced telecoms network means it is an excellent location for the deployment and use of Cloud technologies.
“The Cloud Academy is another excellent example of a government intervention to improve the skills of unemployed graduates, whilst providing skills that our employers have identified as a requirement for the future and our economy. The Academy provides training for graduates with industry recognised qualifications and work experience in preparation for job opportunities in this vibrant growth area.”
Targeting degree or equivalent graduates from any discipline, the Academy will offer an intensive 21 week training programme, which includes a six week work placement, to 14 successful applicants. Participants will gain an industry recognised qualification and a potential offer of employment.
Highlighting the work being taken forward to support the ICT sector, Minister Farry stated: “As chair of the ICT Working Group, I have worked closely with other Government Departments, employers and our local further education colleges and universities, to develop and implement an ICT Skills Action Plan. The Plan has already produced a number of positive results in support of the ICT sector since its launch in summer 2012. The Cloud Academy addresses one of the key areas of growth within the ICT and other sectors.”
The Minister concluded: “The ICT Skills Action Plan is already delivering for local employers and my Department will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure that it supports the growth of the Cloud Technology with Northern Ireland employers.”
Applications to the Cloud Academy will close on 13 September 2013 and the training programme for successful applicants will start at the beginning of November 2013 and run until May 2014. This includes a six week work placement commencing in March 2014.
The skills requirements have been identified by indigenous companies wishing to expand in this area providing new job opportunities.
Justin Edwards, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Curriculum, Belfast Met, commented on how the Cloud Academy will make a real difference to the local ICT sector. He said: “New training initiatives such as the Cloud Academy are complementary to the College’s core offering of further education, higher education and professional courses. By working in partnership with employers, the Department and awarding organisations we are training potential employees so that they have the right skills at the right time.”
Cloud Academy is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning and Invest Northern Ireland under the Assured Skills programme. Nine employers are involved in the programme including CITI, BT, Relay, Liberty IT, Kana, Sophia Search, new CMI, NYX and Leaf Consultancy.