Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed confirmation from Derry City Council that £20,000 has been ring-fenced to deliver multimedia training courses in the new Department Culture Arts and Leisure funded digital hubs being installed in community buildings across Derry and Strabane. He said the funding for both the equipment and training was the culmination of a long negotiation between himself, Derry City Council, DCAL and other partners:
Councillor Cooper said
“ I am delighted that Derry City Council approved funding to allow the delivery of training to users of the new digital equipment which is being installed in community buildings across the North West, including the Rosemount Factory building. The funding will be used to deliver both short beginners classes and enhanced level 2 and 3 accredited training to users of the facilities to allow them to increase their knowledge and experience to allow them to advance to higher level qualifications at the North West Regional College or University of Ulster or indeed to start their own small businesses within their own communities.
As part of our City of Culture legacy proposals, Sinn Féin made the case to DCAL that we needed digital equipment in our community areas to allow residents to build their digital capacity. As a result DCAL minister Caral Ni Chulain agreed to provide £250,000 for equipment across the Neighbourhood Renewal(NR) areas in the North West.
As I pointed out many times in the over the last couple of years, this equipment was vital in building capacity in STEM based subjects and to allow our young people to step up to higher education.
To allow this step up I also proposed to Derry City Council that some support should be made available to provide formal training to those who wished to avail of it. As part of its programme activities for the Year of Science and Innovation, DCC has agreed to provide £20,000 in support.
I would like to thank both DCAL and Oonagh McGillion at DCC for their foresight in providing this support which will undoubtedly increase educational/skills outcomes and employment prospects for residents across the North West. I will also be continuing discussions with partners in ERNACT , the NWRC and the NR areas to identify support for other elements such as informal training and social enterprise support within the digital hubs following the installation of the new equipment over the coming weeks”
It is envisaged that the training will commence in the autumn of 2015 following the installation of the equipment in the spring. Further details will be announced by each NR area in due course.