Digital group announces skills and funding summit

Momentum, the body which represents more than 300 companies in the north’s digital sector, is to hold a major summit in Belfast in September.

It will form a key element of the group’s manifesto launched in January, and aims to discuss the issues of access to skills, access to funding and access to markets leading to the creation of 20,000 new jobs in the sector in the next five to 10 years.

The summit will be attended by the Ministers for Employment and Learning, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister and Education, while Invest NI has highlighted its support for the summit along with Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Ulster and Belfast Metropolitan College.

“We can say with real confidence that our prediction of how we can create 20,000 jobs in this sector within five to 10 years is no idle suggestion,” Momentum chairman Rob McConnell said.

“The recent fantastic announcements from Deloitte and Allstate show what can be achieved, but what we are talking about here is a step change in Northern Ireland’s ability to cope with, and benefit from, the massive opportunity which exists to create substantial new employment in the sector.

“The fact that there are over 1,000 unfilled posts in Northern Ireland right now shows that while there’s great work going on within and across government, we have some way to go yet,

“Our manifesto highlights the opportunities and the requirements from a dispassionate viewpoint and welcomes the excellent work currently going on within Del, Deti, Invest NI and other organisations,” he said.

“It’s now time to build on on-going initiatives like the ICT Working Group to bring all of the main stakeholders together to start charting a course to the development of an overarching strategic action plan for the sector.”