St. Mary’s host skills conference

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St. Mary’s College principal, Marie Lindsay, summed it up perfectly when she said the young people of the North West are the future of the local economy.

The school hosted the ‘Creating SMART Skills for the NW SMART Economy’ conference in its Northland Road campus recently and distinguished guests from Microsoft Corporation, the US Consulate and the US Council on Competitiveness were in attendance.

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The conference which was managed by ILEX (the urban regeneration company for Derry) was the brainchild of STEM Aware founder and chief executive, Roisin Clifford.

“St. Mary’s College is proud to be part of the Microsoft Academy and many of the skills we teach our girls at this school will hopefully help them to go on and gain employment and in turn help to develop the local economy in the North West.

“The young people from all over this city are our future and if we are to capitalise on their abilities then we have to make sure that they have the knowledge and skills to succeed.”

St. Mary’s College student, Ciara, said attending the conference was exciting and it has made her start to think about a career in the digital industry.

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“One of the best things about St. Mary’s College is that they are always promoting and encouraging us to take on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“Listening to the speakers, especially Steven Duggan from Microsoft was really, really inspirational - it’s made me think differently about learning and about what I am going to do when I leave school.”

The Mayor of Derry, ColrMartin Reilly, praised all those involved in Friday’s conference and echoed the hopes of Mrs Lindsay for the young people of the city.

“I am delighted to see so many young faces here today. It’s a pleasure to come to St. Mary’s College - they are a school ahead of the game when it comes to STEM subjects and it’s great to see because hopefully these young people will be responsible for the local economy of tomorrow.”