Business First May-June 2017 Business First May 2017 - Page 49

in the past six months." Other businesses have reported a total of 13 new jobs created in production, manufacturing and digital marketing to meet the increased demand for products and services. They have also developed new skills and improved knowledge base that has allowed existing staff to perform better in their daily jobs. For further information on how to take part in either of these programmes visit http://optimise2.com/ Digital Youth Programme Council is also keen to develop the skills of young people entering the workforce ensuring that they have the tech skills needed by businesses to compete and drive productivity and growth across the Borough. Their new Digital Youth programme encourages and cultivates a digital enterprise culture in the region where over 500 students from 12 secondary schools will develop a stronger foundation in digital skills. ‘Digital Youth’ will improve students’ knowledge and understanding of digital technology and widen their career prospects beyond traditional sectors. Speaking at the recent launch at St Catherine’s Armagh, Lord Mayor Councillor Garath Keating, 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 will help 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 Young Enterprise NI, students compete for work placements in local digital businesses learning from experienced local Digital Ambassadors. Carol Fitzsimons, Chief Executive with Young Enterprise NI said: “We commend the Council for supporting the education system 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 a bright future in whatever industry they choose.” Students with strong interests and aptitudes in entrepreneurship are also encouraged to explore the idea of setting up a digital business of their own in the future. Digital DNA Conference In order to deliver these transformative programmes Council has partnered with key stakeholders in the Digi sector including sector champion, Digital DNA. As one of the sponsors for this year’s Digital DNA Conference taking place on the 6th­7th June in Belfast’s St. Georges Market, Council is delivering a session on how successful their drive within the digital sector has been for business. in the development of young people and the www.businessfirstonline.co.uk 47