US insurance giant Aflac and Belfast Met launch 20-place Assured Skills Academy

Date published: 30 October 2019

The Department for the Economy has launched a new Assured Skills Academy with US insurance company Aflac in partnership with Belfast Met, offering 20 training places for graduates in any discipline.

US insurance giant Aflac and Belfast Met launch 20-place Assured Skills Academy
Pictured in Belfast city centre are (l-r) Mark McCormack, Head of Technology at Aflac Northern Ireland; Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills at DfE; Damian Duffy, Director of Development at Belfast Met; and Ruairí Mahon, Senior Pega Developer at Aflac NI.

Aflac, having recently established its Technology and Cyber Security Innovation Centre in Belfast, and Belfast Met have launched a nine-week pre-employment Assured Skills training Academy that will equip participants with the skills they need to kick-start a career in software development.

Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills at the Department for the Economy, highlighted the Academy as an excellent opportunity for graduates: “The Department is supporting the upskilling of 100 individuals over five years through the pre-employment Assured Skills Academies with Aflac and Belfast Met. This first Academy offers 20 people with degrees the chance to gain a recognised training qualification in industry-relevant skills and a guaranteed job interview with the company if they successfully complete the course.

“Aflac is a major global player and has come to Belfast knowing that our local graduate pool is of the very highest standard. The Department’s Assured Skills Academy programme helps to deliver a pipeline of skilled people to growing businesses across a range of sectors. I am confident that this Academy will be a useful springboard for Aflac to boost its operations in Northern Ireland.”

Mark McCormack, Head of Technology at Aflac Northern Ireland said: “We are very excited about this Assured Skills Academy and the people it will bring through. Belfast is an adaptable, resilient city known for its reinvention and the graduates of this Academy will be at the forefront of building our technology capability in Belfast. They will be delivering innovative solutions to our customers in their time of need, and being an integral part of the global Aflac family.

“I strongly encourage graduates who are interested in beginning a career in technology with a major global player to apply for this Assured Skills Academy. No experience in the sector is required – we are looking for creative, adaptable people who want to be part of an exciting new company in Northern Ireland. With our partners at Belfast Met, we are offering an opportunity that is truly not to be missed.”

The Academy will cover software areas including Pega development, providing real-world applicable skills for participants.

Damian Duffy, Director of Development at Belfast Met, said: “Belfast Met is a leading provider of pre-employment training that is industry-relevant and equips participants with hard and soft skills that will help them operate in the business world. We look forward to welcoming Academy participants onto this exciting course over the next five years.”

Applications for the Aflac Assured Skills Academy are open until 15 November. Applicants must hold a degree in any discipline, or Level 5 qualification in an IT-related subject.

More information and details of how to apply at: Assured Skills Training Programme (nidirect)

Notes to editors: 

1. Photo captions:

(1) Pictured in Belfast city centre are (l-r) Mark McCormack, Head of Technology at Aflac Northern Ireland; Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills at DfE; and Damian Duffy, Director of Development at Belfast Met.

(2) Pictured in Belfast city centre are (l-r) Mark McCormack, Head of Technology at Aflac Northern Ireland; Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills at DfE; Damian Duffy, Director of Development at Belfast Met; and Ruairí Mahon, Senior Pega Developer at Aflac NI.

2. Assured Skills is a pre-employment training programme run by the Department for the Economy. More information Assured Skills Programme

3. More information on Aflac in Northern Ireland is available at Aflacni website.

4. The Assured Skills project is investing £721,000 in upskilling 100 individuals in industry-relevant skills.

5. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the Department’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The Department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.

6. Follow us on Twitter @economy_ni 

7. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604 or email pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Latest news

Back to top