Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has praised the role that our Further Education (FE) Colleges are playing in delivering economically relevant skills.
The Minister was speaking during a visit to the Southern Regional College (SRC) Newry Campus where he viewed work at the college’s Cisco lab and met with ICT and media companies from the incubation centre.
The Minister said: “I am pleased to be able to see firsthand the impressive work being taken forward by SRC. SRC and all our FE Colleges specialise in providing targeted and bespoke skills in areas including ICT and innovation support. These skills are essential to help our businesses grow and compete in a globally competitive economy. The FE colleges are at the core of our education system and along with other partners, will play a major role in delivering the Programme for Government and the skills agenda. Facilities such as SRC’s Cisco lab and Incubation Centre, which foster innovative and cutting edge thinking in areas such as social media, game design and digital marketing, are invaluable if we are to establish the highly-skilled ICT workforce upon which a knowledge-based economy is based.
“Employer engagement is an integral strand of the FE Strategy, Further Education Means Success. The strategy sets out an enhanced role for colleges to work more strategically with employers and other key stakeholders to design and develop qualifications and a curriculum that meet current and future skills needs. There will be a focus on support for strategically important areas of the economy, including higher level skills and STEM subjects and colleges will provide tailored and flexible solutions to employers.”
Earlier the Minister visited the premises of financial software specialists First Derivatives. During a meeting with the company’s management team the Minister congratulated the company which specialises in the provision of software and consulting services to some of the world’s largest finance, technology and energy institutions, on their continued growth.
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