Return of the BIG Apprenticeship Event

Two women holding a sign
Pictored: Lee Campbell, Director of Finance and Planning at SRC and Alderman Margaret Tinsley, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council look forward to hosting the Big Apprenticeship event on Thursday 8 February, organised by the Southern Regional College during Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week.

Giving prospective apprentices all the information to ‘release their potential’ the Big Apprenticeship Event promises not to disappoint, with over 40 employers and support organisations attending the event in Craigavon Civic Centre.

Held in conjunction with ABC’s Labour Market Partnership, there will be information on current job opportunities attached to accompanying apprenticeship courses.  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.

The Big Apprenticeship Event is being held in Craigavon Civic Centre on Thursday 8 February 2024, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  An alternative event is also being held at the College’s Newry West Campus on Tuesday 6 February from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  So, if you can’t make one date, there is still the opportunity to meet prospective employers who are hiring for September 2024 on the alternative date.

There’s 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 include Almac Group, Alternative Heat Ltd, Shelbourne Motors, Irwin M&E, Hyster Yale, Mooney Matthews Ltd and Wyle Rudell Chartered Accountants.

Individuals will be able to hear from both employers and lecturers alike on courses and determine if an Apprenticeship or Higher Level Apprenticeship is the right career move.  Attendees will be able to drop in and hear from current apprentices as they share their remarkable apprenticeship journey during ‘Apprenticeship Ambassador’ sessions.

Apprentices come from all walks in life, from school leavers to all age apprentices (adult returners), so there really is no clear-cut definition of what an apprentice looks like.  Apprentices can work and study qualifications at a range of levels, from level 2/3 up to Higher Level Apprenticeships at level 5/6, the equivalent to a foundation degree or full honours degree.

The choice of subjects is diverse with 38 apprenticeship courses on offer at level 2/3 and 18 Higher Level Apprenticeship courses on offer at level 5/6.  From accounting, to carpentry and joinery, digital marketing, advertising and communications, to engineering, hairdressing, hospitality and sport and exercise, the College offers a wide breath of opportunities for all.

Last year the College welcomed over 1,300 participants to the Big Apprenticeship Event over both nights and this year promises to be another busy year.

Raymond Sloan, Principal & CEO of Southern Regional College commented:

“The College’s annual The Big Apprenticeship Event is an exciting showcase of apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships available at SRC. This event offers a unique opportunity for potential students to directly engage with a wide range of employers, opening doors to a myriad of promising career pathways.

Attendees will have the opportunity to gather invaluable information about our various programmes and discover the benefits of pursuing an apprenticeship. With both hands-on vocational training and recognised qualifications, apprenticeships provide a dynamic and practical approach to learning, equipping individuals with the skills and experience sought by employers.

The Big Apprenticeship Event is designed to empower individuals in making informed decisions about their educational and career journeys. Whether you are a school leaver, a career changer, or someone seeking professional development, this event promises to deliver a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to help you shape your future”.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Margaret Tinsley commented:

“We’re delighted to work in partnership with SRC to deliver this important initiative as part of the Big Apprenticeship drive across Northern Ireland. We look forward to welcoming over 40 businesses and support organisations along with aspiring apprentices to Craigavon Civic Centre.

“Apprenticeships are an important pathway into employment and are a wonderful opportunity for people to learn on the job and find avenues into their chosen career. The variety of businesses that will be attending this event is proof of the value that employers hold in being a part of the apprenticeship schemes.

“I encourage anyone who is looking for a new career or a change in career to consider coming along to this event and finding out how the organisations present might support you on your journey. Perhaps you will discover that an apprenticeship is the right fit for your goals.”

Register for your free ticket to the Big Apprenticeship Event at: