McKevitt: ‘App economy’ could create 2500 jobs

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Business, News

McKevitt believes the app industry could create thousands of jobs

SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt said there must be greater awareness of the employment potential of the creative industries at levels of job creation, education and training. Ms McKevitt, who is member of the Assembly Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee, spoke to Newry Times and said that in the last four years the ‘App industry’ – which consists of mobile development and games – has been responsible for half a million jobs in the USA. She continued, “If we scale that down to Northern Ireland we could be talking about 2500 jobs. But we also learned that our universities are turning out just 300 software engineers a year which is fewer than the number who retire or die. There are 650 known vacancies in larger companies and there are known to many more in smaller ones.” She added, “This is a big problem, but we have got to learn to train people for the jobs that are actually there and we have got to be able to change our training and education systems more quickly as the jobs market changes. Otherwise it is an absolute certainty that the jobs will go elsewhere.”  
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