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Council invests in Digital Youth

Over 140 Year 12 pupils from Friends School Lisburn immersed themselves into a digital world at the recent launch of the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council ‘Digital Youth’ programme.

‘Digital Youth’ is an innovative programme that encourages and cultivates a digital enterprise culture in the region and enables students to develop a stronger foundation in digital skills as well as providing teachers with access to vital professional development video learning.

The programme improves students’ knowledge and understanding of digital technology and aims to widen their career prospects beyond traditional sectors. Before experimenting with a range of technology the students heard from Digital Ambassador Richard Beattie from local company Binary Delights: "This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the strength and benefits of working with digital technologies to the pupils of Friends School Lisburn and it was a pleasure to share my latest development work with them. Over 13 years ago I wrote a guitar tuition application called "e-Guitar" for Windows and Macintosh.  Having the original source code and media files saved digitally has allowed me to seamlessly develop it further to run on modern Android and iOS devices.”

Representing the council, Councillor Janet Gray, MBE, said: “The digital economy is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth. It holds huge potential for young people who work in this sector as well as businesses that take full advantage of new opportunities.”

“Through this programme, we aim to harness young people’s entrepreneurial drive as well as equip them with specific digital skills that are increasingly sought after by employers. ‘Digital Youth’ will help hundreds of young people move into employment and put them on the path to future job success.”

Delivered by local charity Young Enterprise NI, students with strong interests and aptitudes in entrepreneurship will be encouraged to explore the idea of setting up a digital business of their own in the future.

Carol Fitzsimons MBE, Chief Executive with Young Enterprise NI, added: “We commend the Council for supporting the education system in the development of young people and the application of their digital literacy. Many young people have no experience of applying digital skills in the workplace and don’t always realise the growing significance of this to employers across a range of sectors. This programme will equip them with the skills they need to develop bright careers in whatever industry they choose.”