Ulster University hosts the Apprentice Achievement Awards to Mark NI Apprenticeship Week


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  • During Northern Ireland’s Apprenticeship Week 2024 (5-9 February), Ulster University has recognised apprentices for their outstanding commitment to academic excellence and dedication to the work-based learning programme. 

    Ulster’s Apprentice Achievement Awards took place on 7 February at the Ebrington Hotel Derry~Londonderry. It was attended by apprentices and their employers from organisations including Kainos, Deloitte, PwC, Farrans, Terex, Allstate, Almac, Breedon and Instil. 

    In total, 27 apprentices received awards across three categories including  Outstanding Achievement, Rising Star and Commendation. The Awards celebrate the exceptional efforts of apprentices who have demonstrated exemplary skills, commitment, and growth throughout their training period. 

    Ulster University values the benefit and opportunities that apprenticeships can provide to students and is recognised as the largest leading provider of Degree Apprenticeships in Northern Ireland with hundreds of apprentices enrolled in approved apprenticeship frameworks. Ulster University has approved Degree Apprenticeship Frameworks across a wide range of sectors such as business, construction, accountancy, IT software, health and social care, and engineering. 

    Caleb Robb, who is an apprentice with Farrans and studying Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at Ulster said that it was a discussion with a careers teacher that first brought Degree Apprenticeships to his attention and he quickly knew it would be a perfect way for him to learn and earn in an area he was passionate about. 

    He said: “The Degree Apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to get ahead of the curve in terms of developing in my chosen career. I’ve learnt so much and am getting the best of both worlds - the opportunity to go to University once a week has meant that I haven’t missed out on the University experience, but at the same time I get to apply what I am learning in the classroom in a working environment which really helps in terms of building my knowledge. I have enjoyed having a mentor from Farrans who has been there to help me along in my career but also to support on any questions I have relating to my University study.” 

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    Conor Flannigan, Senior Quantity Surveyor at Farrans, said: “Caleb has been a real asset to the company bringing new ways of thinking and complete dedication to his work. Being part of the Degree Apprenticeship programme has helped Farrans to access talented and motivated individuals who add value to the company in a very short space of time.” 

    Sophie Bruce, who works for Deloitte and is studying Accounting and Business Management, said the apprenticeship programme gave her early experience in dealing with a wide range of stakeholders and helped her to develop her people-skills while studying.  

    She added: “During my university classes I got the opportunity to hear from a wide range of guest speakers from the business world. It was fascinating to hear about their experiences and to be able to ask questions about some of the challenges being faced by industry. I am delighted to have received an award today, and for anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, I would encourage them to go for it!” 

    The Awards were opened by Professor Malachy O'Neill, Director of Regional Engagement; hosted by Professor Ruth Fee, Interim Dean of Academic Business; and presented by colleagues from the Faculties. A closing address was made by Clem Athanasious, Director of Apprenticeships, Careers and Vocational Education, Department for the Economy. 

    Source: Written from press release 

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