From education to employment

Traineeships – Your Stepping-Stone to a Fulfilling and Interesting Career

Traineeships – Your Stepping-Stone to a Fulfilling and Interesting Career

With GCSE results out next week, young people will have important decisions to make about what to do next and where to do it. Faced with what may seem like a bewildering range of choices and possibilities, they need to know and understand the different options to be able to make the right decision.   

FE Colleges like Northern Regional College offer a wide range of vocational, technical, and professional courses, from entry level up to and including degree level so time taken to check out what is available at local FE colleges will be time well spent.      

A traineeship can be a stepping-stone to a fulfilling and interesting career in a variety of vocational areas.

South Derry man, Darrell Green completed a two year Level 2 Traineeship in Motor Vehicle at the College’s Magherafelt campus. Having successfully completed the traineeship, he is progressing to do Level 3 Apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle.

At 24, Darrell was older than other trainees in his class, but he explained that although that he had previously worked in a variety of jobs in the retail, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors, he never considered any of them as ‘jobs for life’.

“I always had an interest in cars but when I left school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I did a bit of travelling and worked in different jobs but couldn’t see myself working in any of them long term.”

When he returned home, Darrell decided to put his interest in cars to good use and enrolled to do a Motor Vehicle Traineeship at Northern Regional College’s Magherafelt campus.  He Darrell said his traineeship allowed him to gain new skills and qualifications and he would certainly recommend it as an option: 

“Traineeships are a good option, particularly for anyone unsure about their next step or if, for whatever reason, they are unable to get an apprenticeship. I’d have no problem recommending a traineeship as it allowed me to gain new skills and qualifications which in turn helped me secure employment and now my apprenticeship.

During his traineeship, Darrell did a work placement with a local garage, MB Autos and the owner was so impressed with his work and commitment that he offered Darrell a part-time job.

Darrell has now completed his traineeship and during the summer, worked full-time in MB Autos. In September, he will start a Level 3 Motor Vehicle apprenticeship at Northern Regional College in Ballymena. He will work four days with MB Autos and one day in the College’s well equipped workshops.  

“I love working with cars and the traineeship helped improve my skills and knowledge no end. I’m looking forward to starting my apprenticeship in September.”

Darrell added: “I enjoyed my trainee placement with MB Autos and was fortunate to secure a job out of it. Being in the garage workshop made me realise the importance and relevance of the theory we were being taught in College, so it’s been a great learning experience.

“I would certainly encourage any young people with an interest in cars to try a motor vehicle traineeship as it could be the stepping-stone to a successful career.”

Sean McAleese, Work Based Training Manager at Northern Regional College said that traineeships offer a winning combination of vocational education and an opportunity to secure professional qualifications for specific sectors and a chance to get valuable work-based learning experience through placements.

“The training delivered by the College has been tailored to fill specific skills gaps identified by employers so a successful traineeship will improve employability.”

Visit us at our Enrolment Days to find out more.  Full details about enrolment are available at

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