Public, private and voluntary sector organisations join forces to boost software skills in North and West Belfast

Telefónica Tech, Impact Training and Queen’s University Belfast give 16–19-year-olds the opportunity to work towards a career in IT

Leading organisations in IT, training and education have joined forces to provide young people from North and West Belfast with the chance to learn software skills that will help them work towards a future in the tech sector.

Over six months, Queen’s University Belfast and Impact Training, supported by Telefónica Tech UK&I, delivered a coding academy training programme to help 16-19-year-olds from the Greater Shankill, West and North Belfast gain essential workplace skills and learn about the latest technologies and opportunities within the IT industry.

This is the second year that the programme has run, and it saw the young people attend a series of regular coding sessions, delivered by Queen’s and Impact Training, with a graduation for the students held in the Telefónica Tech Belfast offices, which employ 330 people in Belfast. Sponsored by Telefónica Tech, each student was also provided with a Raspberry Pi for graduating, a small and affordable computer used to learn programming, which they can use to continue to develop their coding skills.

The graduation ceremony for those who completed the course took place on Wednesday 24th April at Telefónica Tech UK&I’s office in Titanic Quarter. As part of the event, awards were presented to the young people, including an outstanding achievement award to recognise a participant who went above and beyond and demonstrated true potential and dedication to learning new skills. This year’s winner was Justin Clarke.

Delivering training opportunities for young people in Greater Shankill, West and North Belfast for over 45 years, Impact Training, provides training options for school leavers who have chosen to pursue a more vocational path.

Ellen Dickson, Strategic VP of Enterprise Health at Telefónica Tech UK&I, commented: “Congratulations to all of the young people who completed this year’s course. Telefónica Tech UK&I is incredibly proud to once again support and be part of such a fantastic programme that will hopefully mark the beginning of an exciting career in IT for those who participated. As well as providing young people with essential skills to widen their career options, the programme will also help boost the pipeline of skills that is needed to enable our IT sector to continue to thrive.”

Dr David Cutting, Director of Education in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Impact Training and Telefónica Tech UK&I to deliver something so worthwhile, helping young people discover their love for IT and embark on careers in the sector. We are proud to see our peer mentors support the next generation of experts in coding and share their love and enthusiasm.”

This has been an outstanding programme to help the young people of Belfast kickstart their IT careers.  It is incredible to see how quickly the participants took up coding and the amount of talent and passion that each of them had. It is fantastic to see our students helping to train the next generation of experts in coding.”

Gerard Fox, Vocational Employment Manager at Impact Training, added: “It is fantastic to witness how much students can grow and reach their full potential when completing the course and it is fantastic to offer it once again to young people in Belfast. It not only gives them an insight into the IT sector but it is also a fantastic way for them to gain confidence and grow as they begin the journey towards their future careers. Congratulations to everyone who completed the course.”

For more information visit:


Telefonica Tech UK – Digital Transformation Partner