Ministers announce over €2 million Fund to Target ICT Skills developmentEducation and Skills

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, today (Monday 20 March) announced additional funding of €2.25 Million to boost ICT Skills development with additional summer camps for second level students being developed, as well as up to 700 additional places on ICT courses.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) will write to higher education institutions to seek proposals for three calls:

  • Additional ICT Summer Camps for second level students,
  • Additional undergraduate places on core level 8 full-time courses
  • A call for full-time level 9 MSc computing courses.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:

“A goal of the Action Plan for Education is to build stronger bridges between education and the wider community, support learners to make informed career choices and enhance our capacity to meet national and regional skills needs.

“We want to give student’s access to higher education people and spaces to help stimulate their interest and understanding of what computing and ICT is all about. Through summer camps students get hands-on experience of a variety of activities like programming, coding, app design, digital media, web design, gaming and robotics.  This can help children develop the computational, and flexible and creative thinking skills that are the basis of computer science and coding.

“In 2016, the HEA provided funding to support 29 computing camps for over 1,245 students. Camps typically target transition year students and typically run for a week.  Last year, 40% of participants in these ICT summer camps were girls – which is a great achievement. Last year I published the STEM report, and set out our ambition to be a world leader in the provision of STEM education. I indicated that I would proceed to implement 21 priority actions, including actions to increase the take up of STEM subjects by girls.

“Today, I am pleased to announce the call for the provision of additional ICT summer camps. I have ring-fenced €250,000 in Budget 2017 to support an increase in activity this year. This funding will enable the institutions to run extra camps or increase the number of places on camps already planned.

“We also have a target of providing an additional 700 places on computing courses in 2017/18 through the calls issuing today.”

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