Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Michaela Boyle has given her backing to the apprenticeship programme which the local council is continuing to support in partnership with training organisations across the North West.

Apprenticeships offer the chance for young people to ‘get paid, get qualified, get ahead’ and are now gaining the recognition they deserve from industry insiders for the combination of qualifications with hands-on experience, in professional employment as well as manual jobs.

Derry City and Strabane District Council is keen to attract even more young people and businesses to the programme through its website www.getapprenticeships.me which shows live vacancies for apprenticeships in its jobs portal.

Apprenticeships are a valuable and informative way for young people from 16 to 24 years of age to make a start on their working life, earning while learning by getting paid, getting qualified and getting ahead in a vast range of professions from engineering to accountancy and many, many more.

Councillor Boyle said the promotion of both educational and employment opportunities for young people across the area was a cause close to her heart and she wholeheartedly endorses the Council’s campaign which aims to raise awareness of the fantastic opportunities an apprenticeship can open up with a wide and diverse range of courses on offer.

She said: “Apprenticeships offer our young people the chance to get their foot on the career ladder of their chosen profession and gives them the room to build up their confidence and competence while allowing them to earn a salary and become accustomed to working life.

“I would encourage more of our young people to look at apprenticeships as a way forward – get paid, get a qualification, get ahead. It gives them the security of staying at home while they find their feet but it also opens up a whole new world of work and qualifications to them – with university still an option at the end if that is where it leads them.

“Apprenticeships show them all sides of a job so they are sure it’s the right direction for the rest of their working life.

“I would also urge more businesses in the council area to consider taking on apprentices as a way of ensuring you have the skilled workforce your company needs with dedicated and loyal staff, proud to be contributing to the local economy.

“The apprenticeship campaign will be focused in the upcoming cross border job fair being held in the city on June 19 and it will be a fantastic chance to showcase your talents and find out what is available within the council area and close by.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council is appealing to both young people between the ages of 16 and 24 and businesses within the region to get up-to-date and find out what it means to be an apprentice in the 21st century by visiting www.getapprenticeships.me

Tina Gillespie, Skills Manager at the Council, wants to highlight the importance of apprenticeship schemes for young people in the Council area. She said: “The Council is working very proactively with a number of education providers, private training organisations, careers service and companies to encourage people to avail of apprenticeship opportunities that exist across the Council area.

“The promotion of apprenticeships is a key element of the education and skills outcome set out in the Council’s Strategic Growth Plan that encourages young people to look at vocational options for training in their chosen profession through on-the-job training, study, an industry-recognised qualification and earning a wage.

“We would encourage more young people to look at the many apprenticeship opportunities that exist across many sectors, from engineering and law, to construction and fashion.”

The North West Cross Border Job Fair will take place in the City Hotel, Derry on Wednesday, June 19 from 1-7 pm. Admission is free. There will be cross border employers present with a range of vacancies in the following areas: hospitality, retail, financial services, construction, health, manufacturing and more.

Bring a copy of your CV and you can find out what jobs are available, meet employers face-to-face, build on job search skills and get careers advice and guidance.

For more information, email: [email protected] or telephone: 028 90 909 338.

CAPTION: Pictured (from left to right) are Carla Healy, Level 3 Childcare, Wee Bears Nursery, Karl Bradley, IT and Telecoms Apprentice with Budget Energy and Megan McDermott, HLA Mechanical Engineering, Fast Technologies.

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