E-Skills Week in NI

This week I had to good fortune to be part of the EU E-Skills Week. 27 countries participated in highlighting the challenges and opportunities we have in front of us to compete in the global market place. From the e-Skills website:

“The e-Skills Week campaign aims to raise awareness of the growing demand for highly skilled ICT practitioners and users within the industry. DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet have come together with 20 national partners to promote e-skills whilst building bridges between the different stakeholders. The culmination of the campaign will be the European e-Skills Week taking place in the first week of March 2010

The campaign is funded by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry which has launched this important initiative as part of the EU e-skills strategy.

“Today, e-skills and computer literacy are a competitive advantage on the job market," said Bridget Cosgrave, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE. “The technologies are developing very fast and it is essential to help SMEs and entrepreneurs to keep up with the technology development to remain competitive."

“Fewer and fewer young people decide to study technology at tertiary level in Europe, and the European e-Skills Week campaign will help to change this situation, by helping students to get realistic views of IT studies and careers, meet inspiring role models and get their hands on inspiring technology," said Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet”

FIT NI The events in NI were organized Billy McClean of FITNI. On Monday I was invited to chair the panel at the launch event which was held at the ECIT building in Belfast. ECIT is the Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology which brings together, in one building, internationally renowned research groups from Queen’s University, Belfast specialising in key areas of advanced digital and communications technology.  The panel consisted of:

It was a very appropriate location in that it looks over the dock where the Titanic was launched. The Titanic was the leading edge of technology and engineering for it’s time. It was a terrific event with attendees from Government, business and education. Like they say in Belfast- “It was alright when it left here”

Today I attended the awards ceremony in the Senate Chamber at Stormont Building. A project called Leap NI won and were in Brussels today to compete against schools from throughout the EU. An ongoing competition is being run on the Play Learn Win website. So take the time to visit and register and you can even win some great prizes.

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