Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s innovative Digital Youth Programme was named overall winner of the ‘Digital Skills’ category at the NextGen Digital Challenge Awards ceremony, which took place recently in London.
Enhancing digital skills and increasing exposure to careers in the digital technology, while also facilitating work placements and digital mentors among young people, the programme was officially recognised for its contribution to economic growth, community and entrepreneurship through digital transformation.
Attending the awards night, Vice Chair of the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Colin McCusker said,
“We are thrilled to be officially acknowledged for our pioneering Digital Youth Programme, which highlights council’s dedication and commitment to accelerate the advancement of the digital economy within the borough and in turn drive the growth of our economy.
“We are aware of the growing importance of digital skills and just how that emphasis will continue to mount as our society is tasked with finding new solutions for environmental, economic and social problems. That is why collaboration with schools to engage with young people and increase their awareness of the benefits and prospects that lie within the digital economy is so vital.”
With today’s society and economy facing new and unprecedented challenges, novel and creative measures are needed more than ever to ensure its stability and growth. Council’s Regeneration and Development Strategy 2015-2020 identified the need to promote and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit across the borough to ensure its continued advancement.
By targeting today’s youth and the flourishing digital economy, council developed the Digital Youth Programme, which aims to equip young people with the skills required to grow a digital, innovative and entrepreneurial economy and in turn help the continued growth of our overall economy.
Delivered in partnership with Young Enterprise NI right across the borough, the Digital Youth Programme saw students use their ingenuity and imagination along with digital technology, to come up with solutions to crucial issues faced by today’s society. The programme not only highlighted how imperative digital skills are for overcoming society’s current and future challenges and the array of jobs available in the sector, it also showcased how stimulating, rewarding and fun the sector can prove to be.
Now in their seventh year, the NextGen Digital Challenge Awards celebrate innovation, success and leadership in the today’s digitally transformed economy and since their inception in 2011 they have awarded ground-breaking projects right across the UK and Ireland.