IT skills are vital in the success of modern businesses. This doesn’t mean that you and your staff have to be IT experts in order to succeed.

The level of IT skills your business need depends on many things, including its size, structure and the way you deliver your products or services to your customers. However, all businesses can benefit from improving their IT and digital capabilities, including their staff competencies, skills and understanding where to find talent.

IT Careers,

Advantages of IT training for your business

IT training can help your staff be more confident and comfortable using IT. This can lead to numerous benefits to your business, including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Greater efficiency
  • Improved bottom line
  • Quicker adoption of new technologies

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Benefits of IT training and development for staff

There are many potential benefits of developing and investing in the IT skills of your workforce. For example:


If staff are not given adequate IT training and are unable to use IT systems efficiently, this can potentially lead to

  • Business operations being disrupted
  • Efficiency and productivity falling
  • Staff becoming frustrated and unhappy
  • Deadlines being missed
  • The business losing confidence in the new system

Upskill or Reskill your staff

There are many options to upskill or reskill your staff, you may also be eligible for 100% funded training. The Department for the Economy has made upskilling a priority to grow our economy and meet its changing demands. DfE can provide financial support of 100% of the cost of enhancing the skills of your workforce.

Skills development

Where to find skilled talent?

Northern Ireland’s population of 1.8 million is one of Europe’s youngest and fastest growing. Over 40 per cent are aged 29 or under, and 55 per cent are under the age of 40.

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    Our education system has long been recognised as among the best in Europe. Two world class universities and an extensive network of colleges provide excellent academic and vocational training.

    Our universities and colleges are responsive to business, creating graduates with skills, competency and acumen in business-relevant areas.

    There are various levels at which you can find talented resource –

    • Post GCSE
    • Level 3 – A Level, BTEC etc
    • Foundation Degree or HND
    • Graduate and Post Graduate
    • Apprenticeships
  • upskill your staff


    Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland is a work based programme designed around the needs of employers.



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    It offer recognised training and qualifications to new and existing employees aged 16 and over, across a wide range of apprenticeships at Level 2 and Level 3

    Opportunities are also available through the Higher Level Apprenticeships for new employees or existing employees in a new role wishing to gain qualifications from Level 4 to Level 8.

  • upskill your staff

    Where to find talent?

    Select the category which is suitable to you to find out more information on education and opportunities in IT.

    children career in IT

    What are Apprenticeships?

    An apprenticeship can give your employee the training and qualifications they need to get ahead and meet your business needs. The qualifications for Level 2 and Level 3 are set out in a framework. They have been devised by industry bodies together with the Sector Skills Council and are therefore tailored to ensure they meet the needs of your industry. Framework provision is subject to confirmation.

    Level 2 frameworks for Apprenticeships on the nidirect website

    nidirect level-2

    Level 3 frameworks for Apprenticeships on the nidirect website

    nidirect level-3

    Apprenticeships 25+ Frameworks on the nidirect website

    nidirect 25 and over

    Higher Level Apprenticeships

    A Higher Level Apprenticeship is an apprenticeship with a targeted qualification between Level 4 (HNC equivalent) to Level 8 (PhD equivalent). A Higher Level Apprenticeship can help you develop professional and technical skills, as well as gaining recognised higher qualifications while in paid employment.
    Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAS) offer on-the-job training and off-the-job learning at higher levels, including Foundation Degrees (Level 4-5), Honours Degrees (Level 6), and post-graduate awards (Level 7-8).


    Benefits to Apprentices

    By taking part in a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you can gain the skills that employers need and that are relevant to the local economy, therefore improving your prospects of good earnings and sustained employment.

    Other benefits include:
    • learning while you earn
    • gaining a recognised qualification
    • receiving off-the-job training specific to your apprenticeship
    • working alongside experienced staff

    Benefits to Employers

    Higher Level Apprenticeships enable employers to train staff to the level required, as well as assuring that there are people available with strong technical and good employability skills.

    Other benefits include:
    • staff are trained to the employer’s specific requirements
    • apprentices can help fill skills gap
    • increased productivity
    • a higher calibre of staff

    How to get involved

    If you want to take on an apprentice or improve the skills of your employees to help your business work better, the Apprenticeships programme could be for you

    nibusinessinfo apprenticeships employers

    What local companies say about Apprenticeships

    Many Northern Ireland companies have successfully trained their apprentices through the Apprenticeships programme and their businesses have reaped the benefits. What local companies say about Apprenticeships.

    nibusinessinfo company testimonies apprenticeships

    What is the Assured Skills programme?

    The Assured Skills programme is a joint programme between the Department for the Economy (DfE) Northern Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland. It has been in existence since 2010/11 and since then, has promoted a total of 5,371 jobs. Once all jobs have been realised it will create an additional £141m into the Northern Ireland economy.

    The Assured Skills programme seeks to assure potential investors, and existing employers considering expansion, that the skills they need to support a growing business can be found in Northern Ireland. It does this by employing all of DfE’s responsibilities for the higher and further education sectors and the Department’s skills and training programmes.

    Current academies are advertised in local newspapers and online resources including jobcentreonline, nidirect, nijobs, recruitni and social media.

    For more information see the video below or click the link the Department of Economy Assured Skills:


    Assured Skills supports the company’s business plan by:

    • Adding value to their training and skills development activity by facilitating links with the further education and university sectors
    • Designing bespoke training solutions
    • Supporting recruitment and other pre-employment activities

    Who is eligable for support?

    New inward investors, or existing employers considering expansion, who are Invest Northern Ireland clients may be eligible for support from Assured Skills.
    How to apply
    Please contact your Invest Northern Ireland Client Executive in the first instance. The Client Executive will be able to advise if Assured Skills is relevant to your needs and contact the Assured Skills team accordingly. If you do not have an Invest Northern Ireland Client Executive, please e-mail assuredskills@economy-ni.gov.uk directly.
    What funding is available?
    Funding will be provided by DfE to support the training and skills development activity of companies.
    Assured Skills funding may be classified as State Aid under the General Block Exemption Regulations and, as such, companies must meet the criteria set out by the European Commission. However, the Department will guide you on EU requirements during the course of a project.

    Play Video

    The Academy Model

    Under the Assured Skills “Academy Model”, where a company or a consortium of companies have an identified skills need, DfE will consider developing a bespoke short-term training intervention to meet that need.
    This typically involves an eight to ten week bespoke pre-employment training programme delivered by a local college or university, followed by a four to six week placement with a participating company. The intervention is designed to lower the recruitment risk for companies by providing candidates trained with the exact skills for the opportunities that are available.

    The Academy Model is flexible and versatile, and has been used to help companies recruit new staff in areas such as:

    • DATA Analytics
    • Software Development
    • Software Engineering
    • Software Testing
    • Cyber Security
    • 2D Animation
    • Game Development

    How the Academy Model helps companies

    The benefits of the Academy Model for companies include:
    • assistance with recruitment and selection (including psychometric assessment if required)
    • a bespoke training programme designed by the company/companies in conjunction with a local college or university
    • the training programme delivered by the college/university with input from the company/companies
    • the company/companies interview the trainees at the end of the programme
    • the Department meets almost all of the costs associated with the intervention

    How the Acaedmy model helps candidates

    If you are unemployed, under-employed, a school leaver, a graduate or have experience and would like to change direction in your career, then the innovative Academy Model may be what you are looking for. The Academy Model will support you into employment by providing the skills that expanding companies want.
    The vast majority of Academy programmes have been aimed at providing graduate level opportunities for unemployed graduates. Across the last two years alone, the Academies have helped graduates secure jobs in diverse sectors such as data analytics, human resources, financial services, sales, software development, software testing, cyber security, 2D animation and game development.
    Your existing qualifications are important but, whatever your vocational area, the companies the Department work with want employees with the drive and determination to succeed, and a positive attitude to take on new challenges.
    The Academies have an 80 per cent success rate of participants progressing into full time employment.
    Previous participants continue to recommend Assured Skills Academies as great opportunities to develop skills and start new careers

    Play Video

    Get Involved

    If you wish to influence the development of IT skills the Northern Irish economy requires to flourish and grow, support Bring IT On.

    Bring IT On wishes to invite employers to work with them to help shed a light on bridging the IT skills gap with the help of the Bring IT On initiative. Providing local employers the opportunity to shape the curriculum, thus developing a robust and talented workforce to support the growing industry in Northern Ireland.

    There are many ways to get involved, including –

    • Bring IT On Events
    • Sponsorship
    • Curriculum Development

    Contact us below for more information

    Further information?

    If you would like more information about the Bring IT On programme, please leave your details with us and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.