Newry students meet with business leaders from the ICT sector

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Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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School children across Northern Ireland challenged business leaders from the ICT sector to do more to support information technology programmes in schools.

(l-r) Ashling Connell, Blanaid McGivern, Catherine Dinsmore and Maria Sloan from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry

The Sentinus IT’s Your Choice Breakfast briefing, held at Riddel Hall addresses the need for more ‘real world’ technology insight in schools from local ICT companies. Sentinus is an educational charity, working with over 60,000 young people a year in Northern Ireland to deliver interactive and exciting programmes that help to address skills shortages while promoting engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The ‘IT’s Your Choice’ initiative was launched under the ‘Bring IT On’ campaign in 2013-14 to help bridge the gap in ICT skills. So far the programme has engaged with over 12,000 pupils in schools throughout Northern Ireland providing them with an opportunity to build skills such as writing html and application code. Bill Connor, Chief Executive Sentinus said, “IT’s Your Choice aims to address the current and future skills needs facing the ICT sector in Northern Ireland by encouraging local companies to get involved with school children of all ages and to encourage more to pursue a career in ICT. “The initiative provides local ICT companies with a platform to witness and encourage the innovation, talent and enthusiasm amongst students. The ICT industry has the potential to grow by almost 4% in Northern Ireland over the next decade, making the sector pivotal to our overall knowledge economy. “We’re calling on ICT business leaders to show their support for the future success of the sector by becoming Sentinus ambassadors. Bill added, “Through interacting with school pupils and providing them with experience in hands-on computer programming and software development we are inspiring the next generation to consider career options in a growing industry.”

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