Derry City and Strabane District Council are encouraging young people aged 16 – 24 to consider the option of ‘earning as you learn’ by gaining qualifications while working in full-time employment through its Apprenticeships Scheme.
The initiative aims to offer an alternative to further education and make young people aware of the industry placements available to them locally that allow them to ‘get paid, get qualified and get ahead’.
The Apprenticeships offer hands on experience in a wide range of industries and roles including Customer Adviser placements at BT, Hairdressing at RoCo and manufacturing and engineering positions with Terex and DuPont.
Speaking at this week’s launch at the Nerve Centre’s Fab Lab, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, said he was pleased to discover the numerous success stories from young people who have decided to stay in their home towns to 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 already 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 staying at home.
“Our youth 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 everyone.
“I look forward to seeing more school leavers availing of the opportunity to join apprenticeship programmes which will provide them with training and skills that they can carry throughout their working lives.”
Jennie Wood, an apprentice with BT in Derry gained 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’.
Apprentice Mechanic, Andrew Blackburn, worked within the Transport Workshop of the Council and he achieved second place in the NI Skills Challenge to clinch a place in the UK heats of the competition, he 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.
Emily Foote has bucked the trend by 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 encourage other girls to follow her lead.
Derry City and Strabane District Council is working proactively with a number of education providers, private training organisations, careers services and companies to encourage people to avail of apprenticeship opportunities that exist across the Council area.
The promotion of apprenticeships is a key element of the education and skills outcome set out in the Council’s Strategic Growth Plan that encourages young people to look at vocational options for training in their chosen profession through on-the-job training, study, an industry-recognised qualification and earning a wage.
There is commitment from those offering apprenticeships to provide high quality programmes of training and further education designed to enhance people’s vocational and personal development and to enable them to unlock their potential and relate this realistically to possible careers.
They aim to equip trainees and apprentices with skills in order to have the best possible start to their working lives or career changes, and to prepare them fully for the emerging technological demands of a rapidly changing world.
For more information or impartial advice on the types and levels of apprenticeships contact a dedicated Skills Advisor at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 208 71 308466 or go to www.getapprenticeships.me.