Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper highlights an event to highlight an area that’s key for jobs
In the past I have made calls for the sector to enhance the work they have already done to build capacity in local communities.
This has seen progress such as the development of new digital training courses for young people in Neighbourhood renewal areas and the development of new programmes such as the Teaching Divided Histories project which is supported by the Culture Company.
This progress now needs to be built on.
I am well aware that there is still a lack of engagement between the digital and community sectors.
This is despite the fact that a number of community venues across the city have already or will soon be opening major extensions or refurbished buildings which will contain a host of state of the art digital equipment.
With this is mind, the Mayor, councillor Kevin Campbell, and I have held recent discussions with Mark Nagasaki of CultureTech/Digital Derry and Tina Gillespie of Derry City Council to devise an event that would allow representatives from both sectors to meet and discuss enhanced co-operation.
The event, which will take place on Tuesday 16th April, will be broken into a number of themes.
It will begin with a key figure from the digital and creative sector creating a context for the event, with particular reference to the opportunities created by the City of Culture and the potential created by the new Science Park, Project Kelvin and other initiatives which aim to create employment opportunities over the next decade in the digital sector.
In the first section, representatives from the higher and third level education sectors will outline potential areas for enhanced co-operation between the community sector and the University of Ulster/North West Institute, including linkages with the community training sectors, specifically in the field of digital and creative technology courses.
Key job skills
Local digital sector employers will also outline what they see as the key skills and qualifications which they need the local population to possess to ensure an uptake in employment in the digital sector. They’ll talk about how this can be accelerated in line with the requirements of the One Plan.
Further contributors will outline the funding opportunities that exist for community groups to enhance their digital activities and offer. The community venues in the city will also be able to showcase the new and improved digital facilities that are now in place as a result of the City of Culture programme.
The promotion of these facilities to the digital sector can lead to their use for new partnership based -projects and also their use as training facilities for local residents keen to further develop their educational and employment prospects in the digital sector.
Those attending will also hear from representatives of the Portrait of a City project (one of the greatest examples of co-operation between the two sectors thus far) and other industry speakers who will give their views on areas for further collaboration.
The event will be held on the afternoon that Tuesday 16th, with further details to follow.
Invites will be issued in the next few weeks with further information available from Tina Gillespie at Derry City Council (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)