Belfast students boost IT career opportunities through Coding Course

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Eight students from North and West Belfast have had the opportunity to develop their software skills with support from a global IT business, Telefónica Tech. 

Telefónica Tech UK&I has partnered with training provider Impact Training NI ltd and Queen’s University Belfast to give students between 16-19 the chance to learn essential software skills to help them work towards securing a future in the tech sector.

The coding course, delivered by Impact Training NI Ltd and Queen’s University, is designed to develop the future of young people in Belfast, with the graduation ceremony for those completing the course taking place on Tuesday 24th May at Telefónica Tech UK&I’s office in Belfast.

Telefónica Tech, a digital transformation company offering a wide range of integrated technological solutions for Cyber Security, Cloud, IoT, Big Data, and Blockchain, joined forces with Impact Training NI ltd and Queen’s in order to support the next generation of IT professionals.

As well as providing first-hand insight into the IT sector, in a bid to nurture future IT talent beyond the coding programme, each student was also provided with a Raspberry Pi as a prize for graduating. This is a small and affordable computer used to learn programming, which they can use to continue their coding education. Delivering training opportunities for young people in Greater Shankill, West and North Belfast for over 45 years, Impact Training, provides training options for school leavers, who have chosen to pursue a more vocational path. 

Over the course of six months, Queen’s University Belfast has worked with Impact Training to devise and deliver a coding academy training programme, building software skills for young people in Belfast to help equip them with essential skills for the workplace.

As part of the programme, students on the Peer Mentor Scheme at Queen’s delivered regular coding sessions for the younger students at Impact’s facilities. They were given the unique opportunity to learn about some of the latest technologies and opportunities within the tech sector.

In addition to the eight students completing the course, there was also a special award for Outstanding Achiever, dedicated to the individual who went above and beyond in their hard work and dedication to learning new IT skills on the course and the pupil to win this award was Andrew Brewster.

Ellen Dickson, Strategic Director for Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I, commented: “Telefónica Tech UK&I is incredibly proud to support the graduation of students from the Python Coding Development Course.  We are delighted to support the future coding careers of young people with the provision of Raspberry Pi equipment, which will hopefully enable them to progress further, and secure careers in the IT sector. I would like to say a massive congratulations to all those completing the course.”

Dr David Cutting, Director of Education in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This has been an outstanding programme to help the young people of Belfast kickstart their IT careers.  It is incredible to see how quickly the participants took up coding and the amount of talent and passion that each of them had. It is fantastic to see our students helping to train the next generation of experts in coding.”

Laragh Cullen, Engagement Team Lead at Impact Training, also added: “This is the first time that Impact Training has offered software development and programming training and we hope that this is the first of many cohorts of young people in Belfast to complete this programme. It has been incredible to give them that hands-on experience and expose them to larger IT companies, such as Telefónica Tech so that they can potentially go on to have a fantastic career in IT. Congratulations to all those who completed the course.”

Period31 May 2023

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