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Northern Regional College Hosts Higher Level Apprenticeship Event at the Braid

Northern Regional College Hosts Higher Level Apprenticeship Event at the Braid

As part of NI Apprenticeship Week, Northern Regional College held a careers event to showcase Higher Level Apprenticeship opportunities at the College and local companies. The event in The Braid, Ballymena, which was hosted by Northern Regional College with support from Mid & East Antrim Labour Market, Department for Communities, the Department for the Economy and BringIT On, generated great interest among school leavers exploring their career options.

Employers from different industry sectors who are currently recruiting Higher Level Apprentices, including Clarke, Blaney, FP McCann, Combined Facilities Management (CFM) Ltd and Translink, were on hand to offer advice and guidance on the different apprenticeship career pathways and opportunities.

The programme included ‘Meet the Apprentice’, featuring current Higher Level Apprentice Hannah Currie allowed prospective students to hear first-hand what it is like to be an apprentice. Hannah, whowon a gold medal in Industrial Robotics at the WorldSkills UK national finals in 2023, is one of the growing number of young people who opted to go down the vocational route instead of the traditional academic route. She told the audience that after sitting her A Levels – and against the advice of some of her teachers who were encouraging her to go to university – she completed a four year Motor Vehicle apprenticeship with Wrightbus and is now working there as a Manufacturing Technician. She is also in the second year of both a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Engineering and Foundation Degree in Engineering at Northern Regional College.

Work Based Learning Manager at Northern Regional College, Sean McAleese, explained that the Higher Level Apprenticeship event was targeted at young people studying A-Levels or a Level 3 qualification, as well as anyone currently in employment who wanted to upskill and get a recognised qualification.

“NI Apprenticeship Week was an opportunity for us to showcase the different apprenticeship opportunities that exist within the College. With an apprenticeship, people ‘earn as they learn’ so it can be a great way for them to develop new skills to improve their employability and career prospects.  And with the introduction of ‘All Age Apprenticeships’, there is now an opportunity for more people to embark the apprenticeship programme.”

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

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council collaborated with Northern Regional College to provide a dedicated week of events and promotional activities that will demonstrate how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna said:

“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to supporting local businesses – offering a pipeline of talent and employees to our local businesses and providing career pathways to the young people across our Borough.

“Through collaboration with local employers and schools we aim to ensure that our businesses have the support they need to introduce new talent into their workforces and provide pathways for our young people to gain the skills and experience they need to build the foundations for their career pathway.”

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, enabling 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.

Applications are open for 2024/25.  To apply and for further information visit

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