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US insurance giant Aflac and Belfast Met launch 20-place Assured Skills Academy

The Department for the Economy has launched a new Assured Skills Academy with US insurance company Aflac in partnership with Belfast Met, offering 20 training places for graduates in any discipline.

Aflac, having recently established its Technology & Cyber Security Innovation Centre in Belfast, and Belfast Met have launched a nine-week pre-employment Assured Skills training Academy that will equip participants with the skills they need to kick-start a career in software development.

Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills at the Department for the Economy, highlighted the Academy as an excellent opportunity for graduates: “The Department is supporting the upskilling of 100 individuals over five years through the pre-employment Assured Skills Academies with Aflac and Belfast Met. This first Academy offers 20 people with degrees the chance to gain a recognised training qualification in industry-relevant skills and a guaranteed job interview with the company if they successfully complete the course.

“Aflac is a major global player and has come to Belfast knowing that our local graduate pool is of the very highest standard. The Department’s Assured Skills Academy programme helps to deliver a pipeline of skilled people to growing businesses across a range of sectors. I am confident that this Academy will be a useful springboard for Aflac to boost its operations in Northern Ireland.”

Mark McCormack, Head of Technology at Aflac Northern Ireland said: “We are very excited about this Assured Skills Academy and the people it will bring through. Belfast is an adaptable, resilient city known for its reinvention and the graduates of this Academy will be at the forefront of building our technology capability in Belfast. They will be delivering innovative solutions to our customers in their time of need, and being an integral part of the global Aflac family.

“I strongly encourage graduates who are interested in beginning a career in technology with a major global player to apply for this Assured Skills Academy. No experience in the sector is required – we are looking for creative, adaptable people who want to be part of an exciting new company in Northern Ireland. With our partners at Belfast Met, we are offering an opportunity that is truly not to be missed.”

The Academy will cover software areas including Pega development, providing real-world applicable skills for participants.

Damian Duffy, Director of Development at Belfast Met, said: “Belfast Met is a leading provider of pre-employment training that is industry-relevant and equips participants with hard and soft skills that will help them operate in the business world. We look forward to welcoming Academy participants onto this exciting course over the next five years.”

Applications for the Aflac Assured Skills Academy are open until 15 November. Applicants must hold a degree in any discipline, or Level 5 qualification in an IT-related subject.

More information and details of how to apply here

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