Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry, met the Creative Skillset National Advisory Board for Northern Ireland and 15 young people involved in the Aim High training scheme in Northern Ireland Screen yesterday.
Aim High is an 18-month training scheme to find and grow the potential future creative and editorial leaders of the broadcasting industry.
Addressing the Board, the Minister said: “There is a clear need to raise awareness and demonstrate the benefits of an exciting and challenging career in the Creative Industries in order to attract new people into the sector. It is young people like those selected for the Aim High scheme who can demonstrate their potential and their skills that are best placed to take advantage of the emerging opportunities within this sector, which has a key role to play in taking forward the economic prosperity of Northern Ireland.
“It is refreshing to see the creativity applied by BBCNI, NI Screen and Creative Skillset working in collaboration to fund and administer the Aim High trainee scheme to attract and employ the cream of young Northern Ireland talent into the sector. The Aim High scheme will produce a growing digital talent pool of industry trained and motivated individuals who can play a key role in the Creative Industry sector.”
During the 18 month apprenticeship scheme, the 15 participants will have acquired a unique craft skillset including radio and TV editing, on line production as well as editorial, research and compliance training.
The trainees also experience four by four-month long placements within all parts of the sector in Northern Ireland - broadcasters, independent production companies and facilities houses.
Chair of Creative Skillset in Northern Ireland, Peter Johnston, said: “Creative Skillset in NI is delighted to support the Aim High trainee scheme giving 15 new entrants to the creative industry real practical experience to enable them to seize the new opportunities available in this growing part of the NI economy. It is also significant that this is the first industry-wide trainee scheme in partnership with NI Screen and BBC NI. I had the pleasure of meeting the trainees recently and was very struck by their infectious enthusiasm and creativity. The success of the scheme will ultimately be demonstrated when we see the trainees adding new value to our industry in a range of roles and careers in the future.”
Aim High is jointly administered and funded by Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland, Creative Skillset.