Lisburn based organisation Sentinus, which supports the teaching and learning of STEM in primary, post primary schools and third level colleges throughout Northern Ireland, has been awarded £7,500 in round one of Ulster Bank’s 2016 Skills and Opportunities Fund programme.
Sentinus will use the Ulster Bank award to roll out a brand new programme to local schools called ‘Digital You’. It will support 14-16 year olds in disadvantaged communities offering ‘ in school’ support and training in a full range of digital skills including coding and App development set within a business context.
St Patrick’s Academy in Lisburn is the first school to enrol in the new programme.
Head of ICT at St Patrick’s Academy, Mrs Mary Towe, said: “St Patrick’s Academy is delighted to be the first school to enrol on new Sentinus programme Digital You and we’d like to congratulate them on winning an Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund award to help roll out the programme.
“The initiative will provide our students with excellent opportunities to work together as a full year group and take advantage of outside expertise and business experience.
“It also gives our young people a taste of IT career choices and what they learn from September onwards could start them on the pathway to a dream career.”
Bill Connor, Chief Executive at Sentinus said: “Digital You will help upskill young people well ahead of their GCSEs ensuring that they are job ready for the future and showcasing the range of career opportunities available in the digital industry.
“We aim to start the programme in September with one day road shows in schools throughout Northern Ireland.
“We will provide students with a range of business challenges and over an 8-12 week period pupils will come up with practical and realistic digital ideas and business development solutions.”
Commenting on the announcement of the winners Sean Murphy, Regional Managing Director Branch and Private Banking said: “At Ulster Bank we’re pleased to support these winning organisations through our Skills & Opportunities Fund.
“We’ve had excellent feedback from past winners telling us how the monies really are impacting positively in areas where it is most needed.
“We firmly believe that this year’s selected Round 1 organisations will greatly benefit from this funding and enhance the level of training and skills leading to greater opportunities for their trainees.”