A free course launching this month will equip Northland youth with digital skills while also strengthening their identity through aspects of te ao Māori.

NGEN Room, a digital hub in Whangārei, received $990,000 of Provincial Growth Fund money to launch NGEN 2020 - a six-month course for rangatahi aged 16 to 24 which will teach skills like coding, software, digital marketing, entrepreneurship and more.

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Te Piha Niha, NGEN Room manager, said the course opens up the doors for more Northlanders to get in to industries where they can make a difference.

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"We're wanting to make sure that we are pushing the future roles, or giving youth opportunities to really get into the technology industries. We want to offer an opportunity to get a grasp of what that looks like and be able to follow that through."

Niha said there will be four intakes of the course over a three-year period with 10 spaces per cohort. The first intake will start on February 24.

Niha said throughout the course people from the digital tech space would be running modules.

"The way I would run my module will be different to how other people run theirs. We're saying if you were to learn your craft over again how would you teach to ensure you're not bored and excited from the start," he said.

Niha said the programme stands on three pou - passed down from He Puna Marama Trust, the trust which oversees NGEN - Kia Māori, Kia Tu, Kia Mātau.

"To be Māori, to stand up and be a leader and to be knowledgeable. We're wanting to incorporate those core values in to the programme as well.

"A big thing around that is identity and soft skills, but then also learning those digital tech skills so they can carve out pathways and figure out where they really want to go."

Traditional Māori waiata and karakia will be incorporated into the course, alongside methods to develop teamwork, mindfulness, awareness, communication, ideating.

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For more information visit www.facebook.com/NGENRoom