Council supports Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2022

Friday 4th February 2022

‚Äč Ards and North Down Borough Council is delighted to support the launch of Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2022.

A group of people including the Mayor standing on the steps outside the Town Hall. Some are holding signage about Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week.

unning from the 7-11 February, the initiative, which is being led by the Department for the Economy, aims to demonstrate the benefits of becoming an apprentice and showcase how apprenticeships can work to strengthen and grow businesses in a positive way.  

The theme for this year’s Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week is to highlight how future apprentices can ‘Transform their future with an apprenticeship’. The aim is to demonstrate how apprentices can ‘earn while they learn’ and become a key staff member within local firms. Meanwhile, employers are being urged to ‘Transform their business with an apprentice’. An apprentice can improve their skills on the job, while also having a positive impact on the productivity of those firms taking part, offering a fresh perspective on how to do things. Ards and North Down Borough Council is delighted to collaborate with the Department for the Economy on this initiative.  

Among the local firms putting their best foot forward and getting involved in Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week, include Alchemy Restaurant in Greyabbey and Oakmont Lodge Care Home in Bangor, in partnership with the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) and Ards and North Down Borough Council. Both local businesses owners and their apprentices have been discussing on video how #NIAW22 has had a positive and meaningful impact on each of them. You can watch what they had to say by visiting www.andbusiness.co.uk. 

Throughout this Northern Ireland Apprenticeship week, SERC is providing a full week of activities that demonstrate the benefits of becoming an apprentice, both to young people and their parents through the ‘Have a Go’ Sessions at each of the main campuses. These will be taking place across the Borough at the Bangor and Newtownards SERC sites. Those interested will also have the opportunity to get down to the nitty-gritty at the ‘Ask Me Anything Q & A Sessions’ that will also be held for employers and apprentices at the SERC campuses. The colleges are also hosting Webinar Sessions to include new apprenticeships in Business Administration and Travel Services; Careers in Construction; Health and Social Care and Childcare Learning and Development.  

William Greer, Chief Training & Contracts Officer, SERC said.  

“NI Apprenticeship Week is a key event in the College calendar. The initiative gives us a greater platform to share success stories from some of the 1250 apprentices and 170 Higher Level Apprentices who choose SERC to gain their Apprenticeship qualifications, along with the 950 employers who work in partnership with the College to offer apprenticeships in subjects ranging from Accountancy and Childcare to Fire and Security Systems as well as new apprenticeships including Glass and Glazing and Polymers to meet the demands of the local economy.” 

Mayor of Ards and North Down Councillor Mark Brooks said:  

“As our economy continues to recover following the effects of the pandemic, developing the local skills base in Ards and North Down is something I feel very passionate about. Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week provides an opportunity for everyone involved in apprenticeships, whether it be as an apprentice or as an employer, or those who are simply interested in finding out more, to come together during a week-long programme of events at our Bangor and Ards SERC campuses.” 

“This important initiative allows apprentices to get a valuable insight into their chosen sector, gain key skills while making a steady income along the way. Meanwhile, businesses across the Borough have a chance to expand their workforce with talented apprentices who are eager to learn and contribute in a positive way to their business. I would encourage everyone in Ards and North Down with an interest to get involved.” 

Finally, the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2022 recognises excellence in apprenticeships and culminated in an awards ceremony which took place this week. It’s one of the highlight events during Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week. 

For further information on Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2022 and to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/apprenticeships. 

ENDS. 

Photo Caption: Representatives from the Department for the Economy, South Eastern Regional College, Alchemy in Greyabbey and Oakmont Lodge Carehome in Bangor are pictured with Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Councillor Mark Brooks.