Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced that the second annual Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week will take place from April 26 to 30.
Led by the Department for the Economy, the annual week-long celebration aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships across Northern Ireland by bringing together partners including local councils, employers, universities, further education colleges and private training providers.
Through a series of mostly virtual events, the week will demonstrate the benefits of becoming an apprentice, and showcase how apprenticeships can work to strengthen and grow businesses, communities and the wider economy.
Minister Diane Dodds said: “I am very pleased to launch Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2021. The week of virtual events will provide a great opportunity to raise the profile and showcase the very best within our apprenticeship programmes and the opportunities available. I would encourage everyone with an interest to get involved.
“Employers can strengthen and grow their teams with an apprentice, thereby developing the skills of our people right across NI. Skills are a key priority for me as we begin the process of rebuilding our economy and I am determined to keep apprenticeships at the centre of our long term strategic plans.”
The NI Apprenticeship Week programme of events will include a virtual recruitment day at The Craft Training Centre, with celebrity promotional videos including singers Nadine Coyle and Conor McGinty, and vice-captain of Derry City FC Ciaron Harkin.
Also included will be a virtual ‘insight into EY’ event from accounting firm Ernst and Young with opportunities to hear from current apprentices and to learn about business areas and opportunities.
Central to the NI Apprenticeship Week will be the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2021 which aims to recognise excellence in apprenticeships and culminates in a virtual awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 28.
Following the launch of the awards in December, the three finalists for each of the award categories have now been selected.
“Once again the number and, in particular, the quality of nominations received for this prestigious competition demonstrates how apprenticeships can change the lives of businesses and apprentices,” said the Minister.
“ I would like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination and want to wish each finalist the very best of luck.”
The finalists for each award category are:
Apprentice Award :
Chantelle McDonagh - An Tearmann (STEP) - Coalisland Training Services Ltd
Declan McEleney - Fleming Agri-Products Ltd - North West Regional College
Jonathan Hawthorne - Greiner Packaging Ltd - South West College
Higher Level Apprentice Award:
Hannah Maneely - Nugent Engineering Ltd - South West College; James Matchett - Kainos Group plc - Ulster University; Barry Donnelly – Cundall - South West College.
Large Employer Award:
Allen & Overy in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College; RYOBI Aluminium Casting (UK) Limited in partnership with Northern Regional College;
Kainos Group plc in partnership with Ulster University.
SME Employer Award:
McKay Pharmacy in partnership with South Eastern Regional College; TBC Conversions in partnership with South West College; Specialist Joinery Group in partnership with Strabane Training Services.
Apprenticeship partners are invited to get involved in Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week by hosting their own apprenticeship events or in collaboration with others. Anyone who would like to get involved should contact the Department by email at: [email protected]
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