Mid and East Antrim Borough Council celebrates NI Apprenticeship Week

Monday 12 February 2024

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has celebrated Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week with a week-long programme of interactive and informative events, coordinated by Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership.

Ballymena Academy pupils with Eugene Clarke, CEO, Clarke; Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna; and Mr. Heaney from Ballymena Academy

The theme for this year’s programme was ‘Release Your Potential’ and would-be apprentices and employers were encouraged to do just that during Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2024.

Council officers collaborated with schools, colleges and employers to deliver a range of activities highlighting the variety of apprenticeship opportunities available to people of all ages across the Borough and the benefits apprenticeships provide for individual career progression and organisations.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “Council has worked closely with businesses, organisations, schools and apprentices across the MEA area to deliver a programme of events that showcase opportunities available and highlight the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals and businesses.

“I was delighted to attend some of the events during the week and to chat with our young people who are considering the apprenticeship route and to some of the local companies who are participating in the Apprenticeship Programme - which has delivered significant benefits to their businesses.  I hope the events have been inspirational and would encourage anyone in Mid and East Antrim with an interest in this career path to get involved.”

Joint Chair of Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership Edyth Dunlop, said:

“Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership was happy to provide support for this event, which enabled young people to engage directly with employers and find out more about the wide variety of exciting Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities that exist within the Borough.”

The Council’s Labour Market Partnership (LMP) aims to support more people into meaningful employment.

It is a province-wide approach developed by the Department for Communities, which aims to address issues with jobs and training by combining resources and delivering a collaborative and flexible approach to employability support.

Events included:

Careers insight visit to Caterpillar, Larne:

For the second consecutive year, pupils from Larne High School were invited to visit Caterpillar in Larne to learn about new and exciting apprenticeship roles commencing in September 2024 and to meet the apprentices who commenced their roles in September 2023.

During the visit, the students were able to find out more about the company and had time to speak to current apprentices to hear about their career journey and pathway. The students were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the factory floor, showing them first-hand what various apprenticeship roles entail.

Career insight visit to Clarkes, Broughshane:

Pupils from Ballymena Academy were invited to Clarke in Broughshane to learn about the company and the many career opportunities available with them – including apprenticeships.

During the visit, the students had the opportunity to learn more about the company and the work they undertake and had time to speak to current apprentices and graduates to hear about their career journey and pathway. The students were given a behind the scenes tour of the business and provided with an insight into product development, R&D, business development, quality assessment and project management.

MTF business breakfast:

Mid and East Antrim’s Manufacturing Task Force (MTF) celebrated NI Apprenticeship Week 2024 with an event highlighting the importance of apprenticeships to the local economy.

Hosted by Ballymena-based GES Group, the breakfast event brought together key partners including Northern Regional College and the Department for the Economy, alongside over 25 representatives from the MTF member companies.

Aimed at highlighting the importance of the apprenticeship career path to the local economy, it showcased the large number of apprenticeship opportunities available in the Borough with MTF companies and the benefits apprentices bring to employers.

Northern Regional College Higher Level Apprenticeships Fair:

Employers from a range of industry sectors currently recruiting Higher Level Apprentices including Sensata, Clarke, Blaney, FP McCann, McAuley Engineering and Translink were on hand to offer advice and guidance on the different apprenticeship career pathways at this event held in The Braid on Wednesday 7 February.

Northern Regional College currently offers Higher Level Apprenticeships in a range of occupational areas, including Accountancy, Architectural Technology, Children's Care, Learning and Development (Leadership and Management Pathway), Computing, Construction, Construction Engineering with Surveying, Engineering and Supply Chain & Logistics.

To find out more about Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership visit the Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership webpage, for more information on apprenticeships visit the Apprenticeships section on the NIDirect website.