Today is the last day to apply for the Belfast ICT Apprenticeship programme. This innovative new apprenticeship scheme presents an excellent opportunity to star young people on an exciting career in ICT and to ensure that when they are seeking employment they have the necessary skills to take advantage of opportunities.
Finance minister, Simon Hamilton said: “The ICT sector is of critical importance to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy and my Department has worked with the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and local ICT employers to develop an initiative to recruit and train individuals in both software development and infrastructure roles in the public and private sector. The scheme was launched in response to the local ICT sector’s demand for new talent to enable it to flourish and grow.
“My Department has had significant success in the ICT Apprenticeship Scheme by employing 10 apprentices in the first year of the scheme, four in the second phase and is currently recruiting a further four apprentices.
All the apprentices are employed on a full time basis and spend four days in the workplace and one day at Belfast Metropolitan College.” The scheme overall has attracted around 600 applications in each of the two years it has been in place with the application process consisting of an aptitude test that can be taken at home, a second supervised test taken at Stranmillis College and then (for the successful applicants) access to a secure portal which provides information on the companies involved and the interview process.
Belfast Metropolitan College has provided tailored training to meet the needs of the employers involved and the Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeship frameworks. This will mean that the first group, who are reaching the end of their training, will be awarded Diplomas in ICT Professional Competence.
Kerri Fearon, an ICT apprentice said: “From the very start of my apprenticeship I was given the help and support I needed and job shadowed an experienced IT professional.”
Applications close at 5pm today. For more information and to apply visit: www.nidirect.gov.uk/ictapprenticeships