ICE Northern Ireland celebrates Work+ at Stormont

On 15 December, ICE Northern Ireland was praised by politicians for its role in meeting future skills needs through the Work+ programme.

Dr Stephen Farry MLA called the Institution an “evangelist” for apprenticeships, and Minister for the Economy Simon Hamilton lauded Work+ as an exemplary new approach for employers and training providers to deliver skills.

Employers, careers teachers, and representatives from the Department for the Economy and Northern Ireland’s six FE colleges joined the politicians at Stormont in celebrating the accomplishments of the Work+ apprentices and the success of the scheme’s first year.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA had launched Work+ earlier this year, with the first intake of apprentices commencing in September 2016. Thirteen companies currently employ 17 Work+ apprentices, who work four days per week and attend college one day per week.

Former Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry began the event by highlighting Northern Ireland’s growing STEM sector and the increasing demand for civil engineers. Minister Hamilton then addressed the audience, commending the apprentices for their achievements and thanking employers for being the drivers behind Work+.

“In order to compete successfully in global markets, it is essential that Northern Ireland has in place a strong and efficient route for the delivery of skills,” Minister Hamilton said.

“The leadership and commitment demonstrated by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the participating employers in establishing the Work+ apprenticeship exemplifies this.”

The Work+ recruitment process for 2017 will commence in February. For more information and to register your interest in Work+, visit the ICE Work+ page.