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Part of The Odyssey Trust, W5 LIFE is a learning centre dedicated to addressing the skills requirements of Northern Ireland’s increasingly digitalised economy. Promoting inclusion and diversity through STEM-based experiences, W5 LIFE aims to provide wider access to skills training that leads to exciting career paths and employment opportunities, inspiring a curiosity and passion for technology and lifelong learning.

Earlier this year, W5 LIFE and Queen’s Communities and Place (QCAP), in association with the Market Development Association (MDA), launched a new OCN Northern Ireland Level 1 qualification, designed to support the education, training, and employability of individuals spanning multiple generations living in the Market area of South Belfast.

Delivered between W5 LIFE and the MDA’s Markets Community Centre, the fully funded six-week Information Technology Applications programme was co-developed alongside residents of Belfast’s Market area to ensure that all content focused on the community’s specific educational needs and digital skill requirements.

Judith Harvey, Group Head of Learning and Engagement at The Odyssey Trust, said: “We’re immensely proud to have been shortlisted in this year’s Learning Endeavour Awards. Since opening its doors in 2022, W5 LIFE has been committed to promoting inclusion, diversity, and lifelong learning for people of all ages from across Northern Ireland. We want to help remove barriers to education and learning by providing a range of STEM-based opportunities with multiple entry points and for learners with different abilities. This co-developed OCN programme has enabled us to work alongside our fantastic delivery partners QCAP and the MDA to do just that.”

OCN is an educational charity and awarding body that advances education by developing qualifications for adults and young people throughout Northern Ireland.

Martin Flynn, Chief Executive of OCN, said: “This year has seen OCN’s best ever entry response. Judging took a little longer this year due to the sheer volume of nominations, but we are happy to reveal the shortlist for the 2024 Learning Endeavour Awards. These awards celebrate the dedication, hard work, and outstanding achievements of our learners and the invaluable support provided by our centres. The shortlisted learners and organisations reflect educational excellence in Northern Ireland and their commitment to lifelong learning.”

The OCN Northern Ireland Learning Endeavour Awards brings together leaners from a range of education and training providers, including representatives from the community and voluntary sector, further education, private training, and schools, to recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals and their training providers by highlighting the power of learning to transform lives for the better.

Martin Flynn added: “Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted. Your passion and perseverance are truly inspiring, and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments at the awards ceremony.”

Read more about W5 LIFE's partnership with QCAP and the MDA below.

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