Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has urged Ballymena apprentices and employers to enter the 2015 Apprentice of the Year competition.
Nominations are now open for the two award categories; Apprentice of the Year Award, and Innovation in Partnership Award (for Employers and Training Suppliers).
Speaking at the launch, Minister Farry said: “Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to build knowledge and skills, gain a qualification and earn money all at the same time. Apprentices in Northern Ireland work across a diverse range of sectors and are a popular route to a successful career.
“I would encourage apprentices, employers and training partners to enter the competition. These awards are an opportunity to recognise those who are excelling in their apprenticeships and those who are investing in the skills of their workforce.
“In June 2014, I launched the Northern Ireland Strategy on Apprenticeships which aims to deliver gold standard apprenticeships to form part of a new skills landscape. Future Apprenticeships will be available from level 3 to degree level and in certain occupations, Master and Doctorate levels. Higher Level Apprenticeships continue to be rolled out in the key Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) sector in partnership with the Further Education Colleges and industry, building on the excellent links we have with employers helping to grow our local economy.”
These much coveted awards are designed to recognise people involved in apprenticeship training in Northern Ireland, including: Employers, Training Suppliers and the Apprentices themselves.
For more information on the Apprentice of the Year Awards or to download nomination forms visit NIDirect website: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/apprentice-of-the-year-awards.
The closing date for applications forms for both categories is noon, Friday, February 27. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Riddell Hall, Queen’s University, on Wednesday, May 20.
The ApprenticeshipsNI programme is part financed by the European Social Fund.