Digital Futures initiatives launched to help grads get into IT sector

  • Photo: Economy Minister Diane Dodds with Belfast Met principal & CEO Louise Warde Hunter

    Belfast Met is leading a new Digital Futures initiative, which will offer graduates an opportunity to gain skills and qualifications needed for a career within the IT sector.

    The programme is in partnership with three other further education colleges: South Eastern Regional College (SERC), Southern Regional College (SRC) and South West College (SWC).

    It is funded by the Department for the Economy and was developed with the Belfast City Regional Deal partnership as a response to the challenges posed by Covid-19, the need to support people impacted due to the ongoing pandemic, and recognising the need to invest in skills to support the growth of the IT sector in NI.

    There are 55 places for graduates across the three strands of Digital Futures in Cloud, Data Analytics and Cyber. 

    Successful applicants will gain industry-recognised qualifications and the offer of a 10-week placement with a local tech company, as well as a weekly training allowance of £150 per week.

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    The Digital Futures courses are approximately 10-week intensive training programmes and no previous experience in IT is needed, but applicants must be at least 18 years old, be eligible to work in the UK and have a degree in any discipline.

    Applications opened on 07 October and are closing on 19 October. 

    The course will commence on Monday 9 November 2020 to Friday 29 January 2021, with a two-week break from 21 December to 1 January 2021.

    Economy Minister, Diane Dodds said: “Developing the skills of our people right across Northern Ireland is a key priority for me as we begin the process of rebuilding our economy.

    "This investment builds on my previous announcement in June of £1.7million for online training places and I am determined to keep skills at the centre of our long term strategic plans. I urge anyone who is eligible to access this free training opportunity.”

    RELATED: Applications open for PwC's new Future Business Skills Academy

    Belfast Met’s principal and CEO, Louise Warde Hunter added: “While many sectors of the Northern Ireland economy have experienced significant challenges due to the impact of Covid, the IT sector continues to grow and can offer real employment opportunities for participants on this programme.”

    Training will take place five days a week, Monday-Friday, and due to the ongoing pandemic, the majority of it will be online through a virtual classroom.

    The Data Analytics course at SERC will have blended learning with both virtual and in campus training.

    For more information on all three courses go to

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