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Apprenticeships to offer young people the chance to upskill by learning on the job

01 August 2018

Derry City and Strabane District Council are encouraging young people from the age of 16 to consider undertaking an Apprenticeship as an educational pathway after leaving school.

Through the Apprenticeship NI programme they will work full time and gain an industry recognised qualification, a win-win solution to learning. 

As the slogan Council are using to promote apprenticeships states, they will Get Paid, Get Qualified and Get Ahead with a real paid job and real work experience.

The Apprenticeship Marketing Campaign currently being driven by Council and supported by the Careers Service, NWRC and local training providers aims to promote apprenticeships to young people as a viable, realistic and cost effective alternative to further education at level 2 (GCSE level), level 3 (A level) or level 4 and 5 (Foundation Degree level).

Apprenticeships offer hands on experience and qualifications in a wide variety of sectors including Catering, Construction, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, IT, Retail, Pharmacy and many more. Visit www.getapprenticeships.me or call 028 71308466 for a full list.

Speaking at this week’s launch, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, said he was pleased to see the numerous success stories from young people who have decided to take up apprenticeships and upskill while working in full-time jobs.

“I’m delighted to launch this initiative and want to congratulate all of the young people who have taken up apprenticeship roles with businesses in the Council area,” he said. 

“We want to highlight to young people in the City and District that there are many advantages to earning while you learn. They add vibrancy to an area and if we encourage more of them to move into apprenticeship roles it can help the economy grow which is to the benefit of all of our citizens. I look forward to seeing more school leavers availing of the opportunity to join apprenticeship programmes which will provide them with training and skills they can carry throughout their working lives.”

Jennie Wood is an excellent example of how to make apprenticeships work for you. An apprentice with BT in Derry, Jennie gained valuable paid experience and qualifications during her time there and has risen through the ranks to become a manager.  Her message to others in the Council area who may have been unaware of such programmes is – ‘You can be successful in your own city’.

Another apprenticeship success story comes with Apprentice Mechanic, Andrew Blackburn who is working within the Transport Workshop of the Council. Andrew was runner up in the NI Skills Challenge and fought off stiff competition from apprentices within both private and public sector organisations who were tested over a range of Motor Vehicle systems including Fault-Diagnosis, Engine Assembly and Electrical Systems. He clinched a place in the UK heats of the competition. 

Emily Foote has bucked the trend by studying and acquiring spray painting skills while working with Terex in Omagh in the manufacturing industry which is usually heavily dominated by males.  Not content with becoming the first person to go through the Design Programme at Terex she wants to eventually become fully qualified as an engineer and would avidly encourage other girls to follow her lead.

There is a commitment through Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Strategic Growth Plan to encourage young people to look at vocational options for education in their chosen profession through on-the-job training, study, an industry-recognised qualification and earning a wage. Council is working proactively with a number of education providers, private training organisations, careers services and businesses to make people and businesses taking up apprenticeships as seamless a process as possible.

There is also commitment from those offering apprenticeships to provide high quality training and qualifications designed to enhance people’s vocational and personal development and to enable them to unlock their personal and career potential.

For more information and / or impartial advice on all aspects of apprenticeships including the types and levels available contact a dedicated Skills Advisor at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 028 71 308466  or go to www.getapprenticeships.me.