This September, Northern Ireland's young people will have the opportunity to get involved with flagship infrastructure projects both at home and overseas. The civil engineering sector is growing, and the recent findings of the Skills Barometer show that Northern Ireland will need more civil engineers to meet its future needs.
"Several local companies are working on international projects, and their success has created a demand for the services of Northern Ireland's highly skilled workers," said Richard Kirk, Regional Director for Northern Ireland.
"By pursuing this new apprenticeship, our young people will have the opportunity to have a salary, no educational debt and a direct path to higher levels of professional and technical work."
ICE and the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) have developed the new apprenticeship programme in collaboration with Further Education colleges and industry partners. The scheme will be Northern Ireland-wide, with full participation from all FE colleges. Twelve employers have already committed, with growing interest among other companies in the sector.
"The scheme was born out of our collective push for apprenticeships and our efforts to attract a variety of young people to civil engineering," Richard said. "It aims to widen participation and to offer students a clear avenue to a career, allowing them to earn as they learn from the age of 16."
The Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr. Stephen Farry, welcomed the creation of this new apprenticeship.
"The new Strategy for Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland includes a commitment to introduce apprenticeships across a wide range of professional and technical occupations," he said.
"Apprenticeships will play a vital role in ensuring that we have a skilled, modern and dynamic workforce to drive our economy forward."
Paying tribute to ICE, Minister Farry also commented: "The new civil engineering apprenticeship demonstrates the effective partnership approach. It puts employers firmly in the driving seat working closely with the Further Education colleges to create this apprenticeship and ensures the apprentices gain the qualifications, experience and broader transferable skills they need for long-term progression."
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