New 2D Animation Academy Launched

Jun 22, 2015

Pictured (L - R) are Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry, Richard Williams, Northern Ireland Screen, Tim Bryans, Sixteen South, and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell.

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today launched the first 2D Animation Academy.

The Academy aims to provide 16 talented individuals with the skills and experience required to take up exciting new opportunities in the Animation industry which is a growing sector in Northern Ireland.

Minister Farry said: “The Screen Industry in Northern Ireland is experiencing global recognition and unimaginable success through programmes such as Game of Thrones. The animation sector has played its part in the industry success and has shown considerable growth in recent years. There is now a need for additional animators to enter the industry and the 2D Animation Academy will provide the skills to allow people to gain opportunities in local companies in this sector.

“This Academy proves that Government, the private sector and our further education colleges can respond quickly to design a bespoke programme to fill the skills need of a sector. The Northern Ireland Screen Industry has ambitious plans to become the strongest in the UK and Ireland outside of London and a successful Animation Academy will help to achieve this goal.”

Targeting talented creative individuals, the Academy will offer an intensive 16-week training programme including a company placement. Successful participants will gain industry recognised qualifications and increase their potential for employment in the sector. In addition NI Screen, through the Aim High: Animation scheme, funded by Invest NI, will offer a 12 month animation industry placement for up to six participants on the Academy programme.

Minister Bell added: “I am pleased to be here to launch the 2D Animation Academy along with Minister Farry. The Academy will help Northern Ireland to continue to take advantage of the global growth in the Animation sector. This industry relies on attracting creative young talent with the necessary skills to produce high quality animations for multimedia, film and TV. Initiated by Invest NI, the 2D Animation Academy is critical to the future success of the sector here, giving participants the opportunity to learn the skills required by potential employers.

“I would like to thank each of the companies who have committed time and expertise to the development of the new 2D Animation Academy. I welcome the partnership approach between Invest NI, the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland Screen, Creative Skillset and our delivery partners in further education colleges. This approach will ensure we have the all important trained animators to support the growth of the sector here in Northern Ireland.”

Applications to the 2D Animation Academy will close on Friday 3 July at 4pm and the training programme for successful applicants will start during August and run until November 2015.

Applications can now be submitted online at:

The Academy has been designed by Northern Ireland’s animation companies with support from the Department for Employment and Learning, Invest Northern Ireland and Belfast Metropolitan College, in conjunction with South West College, under the Assured Skills initiative.

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