The Department for the Economy has officially launched Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week.
Professor Jonathan Heggarty MBE, external judge; 2022 Higher Level Apprentice Award winner, Lewis Connelly; 2022 Apprentice Award winner, Lauren Johnston and Kathryn McCamley, chair of the 2023 judging panel.
Led by the Department, the annual week-long celebration, which runs from 6 to 10 February 2023 and builds on the resurgence in apprenticeship numbers following the Covid-19 pandemic, aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships across Northern Ireland by bringing together partners including local councils, employers, universities, further education colleges and private training providers.
Through a series of in-person and virtual events, the week will showcase how apprenticeships can transform the future of apprentices and businesses. Would be apprentices will have the opportunity to learn more about available opportunities in a wide range of sectors including accountancy, beauty therapy, construction, engineering, hairdressing, transport and utilities.
Launching NI Apprenticeship Week Permanent Secretary Mike Brennan said: "As we move into a decade of economic transformation around the Department's 10X Economic Vision, strengthening our local skills base and investing in skills is essential to grow our economy. As we work together to achieve this Vision it is vital that we equip our citizens and businesses with the skills they need for the constantly evolving jobs market. They will be the ones who can build on Northern Ireland's flexibility and resilience in the face of a challenging world economy. Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in making this a reality and it is important that we highlight these wider benefits to future apprentices and employers."
A list of in-person and virtual events happening across Northern Ireland during Apprenticeship Week is available to view on the nidirect website. Apprenticeship partners are invited to get involved by hosting their own apprenticeship events or in collaboration with others and the website will be updated as organisations post details. Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week is open to everyone so if you would like to get involved with organising future events, please contact the Department by email at: ApprenticeWeek@economy-ni.gov.uk.
Following on from NI Apprenticeship Week will be the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2023 which take place on Wednesday 29 March 2023.
Commenting on the Awards, the Permanent Secretary said: "The quality of apprenticeship training in Northern Ireland is extraordinarily high, as is demonstrated by the nominations submitted to this year's Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards. My thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination, and best of luck to all finalists."
This year's finalists in each Award category are as follows:
Apprentice Award 2023 Finalists:
- Conor Braniff, Tullycross Tiling - Southern Regional College
- Janice Nelson, G. S. Hunter Engineering - North West Regional College
- Luke Marks, Tobermore - South West College
Higher Level Apprentice Award 2023 Finalists:
- Kerry Moore, Deloitte MCS - Ulster University
- Cain McConville, Norbrook Laboratories Ltd - Southern Regional College
- Roisin McCloskey, Little Treasures Day Nursery & After Schools - North West Regional College
Mentor Awards 2023 Finalists:
- Mark Stewart, Norbrook Laboratories Ltd - Southern Regional College
- Alan Clarke, Lakeland Dairies - College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise
- Charles McAuley, Mivan Ltd - Northern Regional College
Large Employer Award Finalists:
- Almac Group in partnership with Southern Regional College
- NIE Networks in partnership with Northern Regional College
- Danske Bank in partnership with Ulster University
Small to Medium Enterprises Award Finalists:
- Turkington Windows and Conservatories in partnership with South Eastern Regional College
- Nugent Engineering in partnership with South West College
- Greenview Gas in partnership with South Eastern Regional College