Three ICT trainees from Newtownabbey picked up certificates of achievement at an awards ceremony for graduates from the Software Testers’ Academy.
Darren Taggart, Claire Wright and Eamonn Hann received their certificates from Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster at a special graduation event held at Parliament Buildings.
The Academy trained 27 graduates with the skills and accredited qualifications identified by 20 participating employers for new job opportunities in their respective companies.
The ceremony was attended by the Academy trainees with their guests, along with employer representatives and the two delivery colleges, South Eastern Regional College and Belfast Metropolitan College.
At the ceremony in the Long Gallery, Minister Farry congratulated the graduates on completing the Academy, saying: “The Software Testers’ Academy is an excellent example of how the Department for Employment and Learning and Invest NI support graduates to find employment.
“My department worked closely with employers and the further education sector to design and develop this Academy to up-skill HND and degree graduates, from any discipline, to be software testers.
“The majority of Software Tester’ Academy trainees have gained employment with their work placement company. The Academy model has been very successful and is now being offered in a number of areas, including Data Analytics and Cloud Technologies.
“It is also being further developed to meet employer demands in other sectors including manufacturing with the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Academy.”
Minister Foster added: “Matching the skill sets of our graduates with industry needs is vital to ensuring that Northern Ireland remains an attractive location for inward investment and a fertile ground for indigenous company growth.
“The impressive degree of industry engagement has been pivotal in the development of the Academy and a critical factor in its success to date.
“My department, through Invest Northern Ireland, works continuously to meet the skills needs of the ICT industry in Northern Ireland and I would encourage any unemployed graduate to consider a career in this vibrant and growing sector.”
The nine-week college based training course offers graduates the opportunity to gain an industry recognised qualification.
For more information about the Software Testers’ Academy log on to www.delni.gov.uk