Southern Regional College had a record turn-out at the Big Apprenticeship Event at its Newry Campus. The event was part of the inaugural Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2020 (3rd -7th Feb), an initiative being spearheaded by the Department for the Economy.
Leading employers, within the Southern Regional College area, attended SRC to discuss the apprenticeship Level 2/Level 3 and Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) opportunities available in a wide range of areas. Applicants and students leaving school in June with GCSEs and A-Levels/Level 3 courses had the chance to talk to employers about apprenticeship opportunities starting from September 2020.
Mr Brian Doran, SRC Chief Executive commented;
“The new apprenticeship system that has evolved over recent years, provides exciting opportunities for young people to take up employment in a growing range of priority areas from Level 2 through to degree level apprenticeships. The knowledge and skills that underpin the new apprenticeships have been developed in conjunction with employers, thus ensuring that they are relevant for employment and future progression. Apprenticeships are being used by more and more employers as an important tool to educate and train the workforce of the future in conjunction with Southern Regional College. I would encourage every young person who will be leaving school this year to consider the apprenticeship route. The Higher Level Apprenticeship qualification is a real alternative to the traditional academic pathway of A-Levels followed by university.”
Mark Smith is currently studying the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Accountancy at SRC and is employed with the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority. He joined the HLA programme as a mature student, having moved home from England and keen to pursue a new career. Mark had advice for those who are finishing their Level 3 qualification;
“It’s easy to get caught up in going to university because all of your mates are doing it and the future seems a million years away. However, if I had the choice to do this course when I was leaving school, I would have picked it in a heartbeat.”
“What I learned from looking for jobs is that experience in the workplace is priceless. It’s a very competitive job market out there and not everyone is willing to hire someone with no experience, no matter how good your grades are. The apprenticeship is debt free for the student - you actually get paid for doing it and at the end of 2 years you have a very employable qualification and work experience.”
Opportunities are available in the Agri-food, Drink Manufacturing and Hospitality Sector, Business and Services, Construction, Engineering, Motor Vehicle and Sciences.
For further information on the apprenticeship opportunities available at SRC, visit www.src.ac.uk or Tel: 0300 123 1223.