Career Encode event highlights ways to ‘Earn While you Learn’

Front and centre Camilla Long, Career Encode facilitator, alongside Career Encode Partner Employers Acorn IT Solutions, Bloc Blinds, CDE Global, FP McCann, SDC Trailers, Spatialest, Camden Group and Uform

CAREER Encode employers came together with invited guests at an event supported by Mid and East Antrim Council.

Taking place at the Catalyst Innovation Centre at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena, employers heard how to create a diverse and flexible workplace to retain the talent they need to grow.

Career Encode is an employer-led collaboration to help companies to recruit the best of Generation Z talent to build and retain a talent pool of digital skills.

Generation Z, the millennials’ future co-workers, are those born between 1995 and 2010. This generation of digital natives have grown up in a connected world.

How can your business harness the creativity and innovation of this generation? Higher Level Apprenticeships may be part of the answer. For employers, they’re an opportunity to ‘grow your own skills’. For young people, they’re a chance to get a degree without student debt.

Mayor of Mid and East Borough Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “The Career Encode route gives school leavers and career changers another avenue to explore in their journey through Higher Level Education.

“It is an excellent opportunity to gain experience from a number of companies in Northern Ireland in order to increase the supply of IT professionals.

“It also allows applicants to earn money while gaining valuable experience and opens up the opportunities to travel upon completion of their course.”

Career Encode is a collaboration of 12 employers – Acorn IT in Kilrea, Bloc Blinds in Magherafelt, CDE Global in Cookstown, FP McCann in Knockloughrim, Mallon Technology also in Cookstown, Randox in Crumlin, SDC Trailers in Toomebridge, Specialist Joinery Group in Maghera, Spatialest in Coleraine, Camden Group in Antrim and Uform in Toomebridge.

Attendees heard from Managing Director of Ipsos MORI, Fiona Rooney, about their indepth, Beyond Binary, report of ‘Generation Z’, followed by a toolbox talk on digital transformation for business by Roger Gribben of Acorn IT.

Jamie Gordon, a ‘Gen Z’ from Glaze Digital, provided an insight into what he found attractive in the workplace with the top spots going to flexibility and business wide collaboration.

It was followed by an interactive panel discussion on the benefits of integrating an apprentice into your team with Barbara Greer-Sayer (FP McCann), Louise McElvaney (Learning Pool), Julie Irwin (J Irwin & Associates) and Aiden McGrath (Acumensis).

Rounding up the event was Bespoke Communications Director, Sarah Travers, who discussed ‘fighting your filter’ to better your communication and leadership skills.

For more information about Career Encode please visit or email

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