Eighteen students today graduated from the first Department for the Economy HighWire Academy.
The five week Academy trained the graduates in the skills and knowledge identified by HighWire Press Limited to be necessary for software development roles with the company. The training had a strong focus on Drupal, an open source content management system. The graduates will now be interviewed for a position with the company.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I wish to congratulate all the Academy graduates. My Department’s Assured Skills programme will ensure that HighWire will have the necessary support for training initiatives to develop the skills they require to fulfil the 74 jobs they are creating here. These jobs will generate over £7.5million in salaries into the local economy over the three year project period.
“This Academy is an excellent example of how I will ensure that my Department will continue to deliver job focussed skills to match the needs of local companies and those wishing to invest here in order to grow our economy.”
The Academy is the first to be delivered by the Department for the Economy in partnership with HighWire Press Limited and South Eastern Regional College (SERC).
Dan Filby, Chief Executive Officer, HighWire Press Limited commented: “The HighWire Academy creates an exciting opportunity for high calibre candidates to build on their experience and become part of the HighWire team. These bright individuals have engaged in an intensive training program over the last five weeks and will successfully graduate from the Academy. We are looking forward to hosting the graduation ceremony at HighWire's international office in Belfast and I very much look forward to congratulating the candidates on their achievement.”
SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb also congratulated the students on completing the Academy and explained: “The HighWire Academy has been an exemplar of Government, the college sector and business working together to deliver highly skilled and motivated staff in a responsive, efficient and effective manner. I would recognise the fantastic work of SERC’s professional staff, who have consistently delivered for students and businesses. I extend my best wishes to the graduates and I am confident that the grounding that they have received at SERC will lead to highly successful careers.
“The academy would not have been possible without the support of the Department for the Economy’s Assured Skills initiative. We are delighted to see the positive outcomes of the Academy and I personally congratulate all of the graduates and wish them the greatest success in their future.
“SERC is committed to working with employers to ensure they have the skilled workforce they need, both now and for the future."
Notes to editors:
1.The Assured Skills programme is a joint programme between the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland. The programme is designed to guarantee existing companies wishing to expand and potential new inward investors looking to locate their business in Northern Ireland that their skills needs can be provided for here.
2. Assured Skills provides tailored training to help employers find staff with the skills they need or support to develop the necessary expertise within their existing team. The support can range from help to establish links between businesses and the further education or university sectors to design specific training solutions or assistance with recruitment and other pre-employment activities.
3. For media enquiries, please contact Department for Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.