Lord Mayor praises turnout for the Big Apprenticeship Event  

L-R: Tracey Rice (Head of Business Support at SRC and Chair of ABC’s Labour Market Partnership), Nicola Wilson (Head of Economic Development at ABC Council), Lord Mayor Alderman Margaret Tinsley, Lee Campbell (Chief Executive at SRC), and Roisin Sloan (Deputy Director, Work and Wellbeing Division at the Department for Communities)

It was a full house at Craigavon Civic Centre yesterday (Thursday 8 February 2024) for the Big Apprenticeship Event, where over 1000 people came along to ‘release their potential’ through a possible apprenticeship with some of the biggest local employers.

The event was organised through a collaboration between Southern Regional College and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Labour Market Partnership which is funded by the Department for Communities.

There was a vast range of apprenticeship roles on offer including, electrical installation, design and manufacturing; digital marketing; accounting; industrial science and cloud computing, analytics and security.  Local employers in attendance included Almac Group, Alternative Heat Ltd, Shelbourne Motors, Irwin M&E, Hyster Yale, Mooney Matthews Ltd and Wyle Rudell Chartered Accountants.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from both employers and lecturers alike on courses and determine if an apprenticeship or higher-level apprenticeship would be the right career move.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Margaret Tinsley attended the event and commented:

“It is a real interest of mine to ensure that there are many opportunities for the people of our borough to find their way into their dream career. Apprenticeships are one way that this is possible and yesterday’s event proved the interest is palpable across ABC. The turnout exceeded everyone’s expectations and I hope that those who attended found useful information to consider as they move forward in their career choices.”

Ben Allen, one of the local Apprenticeship Ambassadors who is currently completing his Higher Level Apprenticeship while working for McElmeel Mobility Services, said: “I didn’t know what route to take after doing A-levels and my younger brother suggested I do an apprenticeship. I applied for the course and got it. Then I brought him to last year’s Big Apprenticeship Event and he secured a job that evening and is now on his own apprenticeship pathway.”

Lee Campbell, Principal & CEO of Southern Regional College commented:

“Last night’s event, supported by the Labour Market Partnership, has been a fantastic opportunity for local people to learn more about the apprenticeship pathways on offer at Southern Regional College. The training and upskilling opportunities for individuals of all ages is vital for economic growth and social mobility within the region. The Big Apprenticeship Event has showcased the many rewarding career options that apprenticeships can provide, and links learners with employers who are seeking talent and skills.”

Labour Market Partnerships are funded by the Department for Communities and create targeted employment action plans for council areas, allowing for collaboration at local and regional level to support people towards and into work.

To find out more about ABC LMP’s training and employment programmes, visit https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/business/labour-market-partnership/