Derry college launches Kickstart to IT course

North West Regional College (NWRC) in partnership with Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) are seeking applicants for an innovative course aimed at fast tracking students into a career in the IT Industry.

Kickstart IT is an industry-led Software Fundamentals course providing specialist training to enable candidates to successfully apply for IT software roles.

This 16 week full-time course will begin on Monday 23rd January and provides students with an IT industry recognized qualification and training which gives them a competitive edge over others in the local job market.

Successful applicants will also be given a four-week placement with a local software company and a guaranteed job interview with one of the participating companies.

NWRC Business Skills Manager Sinead Hawkins said: ”I’m delighted that we can offer this very successful program again funded by The Department for the Economy. This program provides a unique opportunity for individuals to re-skill and upskill into software testing which is a key area where job growth remains high as we emerge from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. NWRC has excellent company commitment to provide the lead into employment.”

Eileen McGrinder, Skills Officer at DCSDC added: “We are delighted to be working with the NWRC and local IT firms to deliver this course which will help address the shortage of computer programmers in our region. It is important that we offer skills and qualifications that the IT industry need and recognize. The qualification delivered on this course will allow students to have a more competitive edge in the local job market.”

Candidates must be able to fully commit to 35 hours as required of a full-time course. Upon successful completion, applicants will be provided with an OCN NI Level 4 Diploma in Software Testing, ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing and a certificate of competency from an in-house Java exam.

NWRC Computing Lecturer Kevin McLaughlin, revealed that, despite the short nature of the course, students will build a strong foundation in all aspects of software from inception to implementation.

“This software fundamentals course will allow students with no background in IT to quickly learn a range of skills and programming languages ​​that they can put into practice in the workplace,” he said.

“It includes content like Java, Selenium, SQL and other relevant industry specific modules as well as a strong emphasis on software testing and automation.

“The local software industry is constantly evolving and by successfully completing this course, candidates will be strongly equipped to gain successful employment and thrive in it.”

This program is fully funded by the Department for the Economy Skill Up Flexible Skills Fund and eligible candidates must be over 18 years of age and eligible to work in NI. They must also have at least a level four or higher qualification ideally within a STEM area. Consideration will also be given to applicants with strong A Level/Level three grades particularly in IT. Additional consideration may be given to applicants with no formal accreditation or credit but have evidence of strong IT Knowledge. Lastly, applicants will need to pass an aptitude test and interview as part of the application process.

The selection process for the course is initially by application form with short listed candidates progressing to an aptitude test to assess logical and mathematical skills and finally an interview with representatives from NWRC and DCSDC.

For more information and to register your interest please visit


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