Progress in the development of digital training at community level will help create jobs in the city, Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper has said.
Colr. Cooper said the roll-out of digital training programmes, carried out as part of the Digital Derry strategy, is encouraging.
He made the comments after a holding a series of meetings with representatives from the digital sector and community groups across the city.
The Northland colr. had previously highlighted the lack of community-based digital training and said that he is pleased to see the situation has changed.
“Before Christmas I wrote an extensive article for the Derry Journal regarding the lack of digital training programmes available within community training venues across the city.
“As I hoped the article led to a series of meetings with representatives of the culture company, Nerve centre, Digital Derry, Guildhall Press and others who have a leading role in the delivery of digital training programmes and business start-up across a wide range of disciplines and in particular the wider cultural media field,” he said.
Colr. Cooper also said greater awareness of digital issues at community level could help maximse the benefits associated with Derry’s City of Culture title.
“Given the onset of City of Culture I felt it was vital that these types of courses were made available to residents of local communities who were unable to access the training currently on offer for a whole range of reasons,” he explained.
The Sinn Féin that community organisations across the city have welcomed the opportunity to avail of digital training courses.
“Mindful that many community venues are already involved in the delivery of training programmes through projects such as Derry2020, it was logical that I encouraged the community organisations to engage with groups such as the Nerve Centre to ensure that relevant digital training subjects can be delivered in their localities,” he said.
Colr. Cooper said continuing to roll out digital training programmes will open up employment possibilities to many in working-class areas in Derry. “This is especially important given the fact that many of the jobs which will be created within the city within the next ten years will be in the digital field. Without the chance of accessing viable training within their own areas, many of the working class younger residents of the city will not have the capacity to avail of these new positions,” he added.
Colr. Cooper said that he hoped the delivery of the training programmes at community level will continue. “I am confident that a process has now begun to ensure that people will have the opportunity to take up these jobs,” he said.