Dundalk Chamber Skillnet launches innovative blockchain course with DkIT

Thomas McDonagh, Director, UHY Farrelly Dawe White Accountants; Aidan Callan, Dundalk Chamber Skillnet; Alan McEneaney, PayPal and Co-Chair of the Fintech Corridor Initiative; Fiona Lawless, Head of Department of Computing Science and Mathematics DkIT; Gerard McKiernan, Head of School of Informatics & Creative Arts DkIT; Aidan Browne, Head of Business Development & Innovation DkIT; Anton Barrett, Head of Lifelong Learning DkIT

Dundalk Chamber Skillnet has today announced details of a brand-new part-time QQI Level 6 certificate programme in Fundamentals of Blockchain launching in September 2021. The level 6 accredited course is a joint collaboration between, Dundalk Chamber Skillnet, DkIT’s Department of Computing Science and Mathematics and industry representation.

The new one-year programme is open to individuals from a variety of sectors seeking to improve their knowledge of blockchain. The programme consists of two modules delivered one-night per week over two semesters; In semester one “Blockchain Essentials” details the fundamentals of the technology with semester two; “Blockchain based Distributed Applications and Smart Contracts” outlines how the technology can be applied. The programme has a significant applied focus with case studies and guest contributors a focus of the key learning activity.

Working with many stakeholders, the course development included input from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, The Fintech Corridor Initiative (industry representative group funded by IntertradeIreland) and companies such as PayPal and Gecko Governance.

Aidan Callan of Dundalk Chamber, Skillnet added: “This QQI Level 6 Blockchain programme has been devised as a direct result of examining workforce design dynamics through collaboration with the Fintech Corridor, our member companies and the education ecosystem. By leveraging the industry expertise of our member companies and engagement with state agencies Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, we’ve gained a solid understanding of existing skills capabilities and through collaboration we can facilitate the development of future skills in the area of blockchain. With 80% funding from Skillnet Ireland through the Future Dynamics programme we’ve developed a programme focused on demystifying Blockchain technology which in turn will result in innovation through understanding.”

Thomas McDonagh (Director UHY Farrelly Dawe White, Dundalk Chamber Skillnet network promoter and treasurer Dundalk Chamber of Commerce) said:  “A key focus of the programme is the removal of entry level barriers and introducing blockchain, it’s capabilities and potential to a wider audience. Blockchain technology is transferable across multiple sectors. By harnessing its potential, it will greatly enhance digital transformation, driving innovation and competitiveness.”

Speaking today, Aidan Browne, Head of Business Development & Innovation at DkIT said, “In today’s challenging business environment, emerging technologies have the potential to provide the foundation for game-changing solutions for industry. We are delighted to launch this collaborative programme with Dundalk Chamber Skillnet with the support of state agencies Enterprise Ireland and the IDA and industry in the content development. Together with our partners we have a shared understanding and vision of growing of our region’s enterprise sector that is dependent on the progression of industry upskilling and knowledge advancement in emerging technologies and innovation. This programme is an excellent example of strong collaboration in action.”

Dr. Fiona Lawless, Head of Department of Computing Science and Mathematics at DkIT added, “This new certificate forms a cornerstone of the suite of innovative programmes being developed by the Department of Computing Science and Mathematics at DkIT, in response to industry needs. The programme will play an important role in introducing the fundamentals and the application potential of blockchain technology and can be wide reaching in supporting upskilling across sectors such as fintech, engineering, food, transportation, logistics and supply chain management where blockchain is seen as a potentially disruptive technology and its application has the potential to revolutionise those industries.”

Alan McEneaney of PayPal and Co-Chair of the Fintech Corridor Initiative also commented: “The pandemic has accelerated the digitisation of money and driven greater adoption of digital financial services. PayPal has partnered with DKIT, Skillnet and the Fintech Corridor to design a course that equips participants with a foundational understanding of blockchain technology and digital currencies. We are committed to meaningfully contributing to the role that digital currencies play in the future of global finance and commerce – and have developed this course with a focus on practical application – to help participants leverage the skills they learn in their day to day work.”

To be eligible for subsidised training by Skillnet, applicants must be employed and resident in the Republic of Ireland. Further details on funding and application process can be found here or contacting Aidan Callan at aidan.callan@dundalkskillnet.ie

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