An initiative to provide Castle Rushen High School (CRHS) students with the skills they need to gain employment in the Island’s ICT sector was launched yesterday evening (23 September).
The Castle Rushen High School IT Career Academy is a pilot initiative developed with the support of the Department of Economic Development and Department of Education and Children (DEC). It is a two year programme designed for Year 12 students with an expected intake of ten students initially and follows the model that has been running in the UK for the past decade.
The CRHS IT Academy will enjoy full affiliation with Career Academies UK and will have access to all their resources, conferences and support.
The Academy aims to prepare the students for the workplace by providing them with new technical skills and new life skills. The programme will be overseen by a Local Advisory Board and offers students a structured learning development process through a combination of master classes, mentoring, workplace visits and paid internships.
Tony Wild MLC, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Employment and Skills and a Member of the Department of Education and Children commented:
‘This is a perfect time to launch an academy with an ICT theme because it brings together two aspects of the Island’s current labour market needs.
‘First, Government’s Vision2020 strategy forecast that our economy is expected to grow further over the next few years driven by the creation of hundreds of new jobs to work in the e-Business sector, which is expected to be 23% of our economy by 2020. In order to achieve this, the Isle of Man requires a workforce with relevant skills.
‘Secondly, there is a need to improve the development of skill sets in young people of sixth form age who wish to enter the Island’s labour market when they leave school or following a higher education course.
‘We are also grateful for the support of our educational colleagues in Castle Rushen High School with getting this initiative launched.’
Andrew Cole, the Academy's Coordinator, said:
‘This is an unprecedented opportunity for students following ‘A’ Level Computing programmes. The Academy's Local Advisory Board members representing Government departments, schools and businesses are all fully committed to the success of the pilot programme.
‘Economic conditions have conspired to make this the perfect time for the launch. It is now up to our sixth form students to embrace this great chance to apply for Academy membership, which will assure their potential employability in the IT sector within 2 years.’