Work+ welcomed 55 civil engineering apprentices by hosting an event with ICE Northern Ireland last week.
The apprenticeship programme, which is jointly delivered by ICE NI, the Department for the Economy (DfE), all six FE colleges in Northern Ireland, and Ulster University, aims to meet the growing demand for civil engineers. It gives young people an opportunity to earn as they learn and work towards an ICE professional qualification.
Twenty-seven local employers recruit apprentices through Work+, and there are now around 100 civil engineering apprentices in NI.
"Work+ has enjoyed continued growth and success since it was launched in 2016, with a year-on-year increase of the number of employers and apprentices on board,” said Richard Kirk, Regional Director for ICE NI.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people enjoying their jobs at top engineering firms in Northern Ireland and be on a pathway to gain professional qualifications which will enable them to have a lifelong, rewarding career in civil engineering.”
The welcome lunch gave the new apprentices an opportunity to find out about the support available from ICE and have an orientation to the programme.
“The best aspect of being an apprentice is the diversity of projects I get to work on and being able to apply the knowledge and understanding of my subjects being taught in the college to do my job," said Joshua Shannon, an apprentice working at professional services company Jacobs, while studying a foundation degree at Belfast Met.
"Being able to understand the work I'm doing and why I'm doing it is really beneficial because it helps develop both my experience and knowledge of projects.”
Work+ gives apprentices the option to continue through college and university, potentially up to master’s degree level, and the ability to become professionally qualified upon completion of their apprenticeship.
The programme supports the government’s Skills Barometer report, which identified civil engineering as the sector which will have the second highest demand for workers over the next 10 years.
The Work+ recruitment process for 2019 will start in February 2019. For more information and to register your interest in Work+, visit the ICE Work+ page