FP McCann has joined forces with eight other companies in Mid Ulster, the North West and North Antrim in a unique collaboration to launch ‘Career Encode’, an Earn As You Learn Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing for school leavers.

Career Encode

Career Encode is believed to be the first time that a group of companies in Northern Ireland have ever pooled their resources independently to increase the supply of IT professionals.

Working in collaboration with Northern Regional College, the nine companies will offer jobs to local school leavers and career changers, enabling them to get an internationally recognised Foundation Degree accredited by Ulster University in the process. Along with FP McCann, the eight other participating companies include Specialist Joinery Group, Mallon Technology Bloc Blinds, CDE Global, Acorn IT Solution, Spatialest, Randox and SDC Trailers.

Explaining the need for such an innovative approach to plugging a skills gap in the region, Camilla Long, the independent facilitator on behalf of the nine companies says; “8 in 10 businesses currently trying to recruit new staff are facing major challenges in doing so according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey published by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Information Communications Technology is a key sector with vacancies in the regional economy.”

School Visits

FP McCann, along with fellow cohort companies, are embarking upon a series of school visits for Year 14 students highlighting the benefits of the Higher Level Apprenticeship approach to a career in Computing.

Applying for Career Encode

The Northern Regional College is now accepting applications for apprenticeships starting in September 2019. Young people can apply online through the college website and is open to school leavers in 2019 or those considering a career change into ICT. Applicants must be aged 18 on or before 1 July 2019.  The deadline for applications is 31st January 2019.

FP McCann’s commitment to innovation over the years has seen the software development team increase in numbers and they currently employ 20 software developers in a range of coding disciplines.

If you enjoy problem solving, like being part of a team, have great focus, are creative and enjoy subjects like maths, science, ICT and digital technology, then this apprenticeship is for you! In addition to gaining skills in ICT and software development, the Earn as you Learn Higher Level Apprenticeship offers a number of other benefits to young people.

Successful applicants will gain an internationally recognised Foundation Degree without having to pay university fees or run up student debt. They will also get a full salary and are able to learn on the job with experienced professional mentors in each of the participating companies.

FP McCann & Career Encode

Speaking about FP McCann’s involvement with Career Encode, Don Mullholland explains; “FP McCann is one of the largest employers in the Mid Ulster region.  Our leading-edge IT infrastructure and software is critical to the sustainability of our enterprise.   We are pleased to continue our investment in a skilled IT team with this Career Encode initiative”.

If you would be interested in joining FP McCann on a Higher Level Apprenticeship, check out the websites of Career Encode and Northern Regional College for further course details, qualifying criteria & information on how to apply.