Free Belfast event on apprenticeships open to all

  • Photo: Richard Kirk, the director of Workplus

    The importance of apprentice schemes for young people, businesses and Northern Ireland’s future economy is the focus of a free event taking place at Ormeau Baths in Belfast this week (Thursday 5 December).

    ‘The Future of Work and Education will be hosted by Workplus, an organisation that helps employers develop talent through apprenticeships.

    Parents, teachers, business leaders and potential apprentices are being encouraged to come along to hear more about how apprenticeships have a key role to play in the future of work and education.

    The panel includes chair of Phoenix Gas Peter Dixon, who will share his experience of leaving school at 16 without any professional qualifications. He then worked as an apprentice gas fitter, plumber and welder and later rose through the management ranks.

    RELATED: First NI Apprenticeship Week set for 2020

    Other panellists are Joanne Lennox, Head of People and Engagement at Farrans, Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Heather Cousins, Deputy Secretary, Skills and Education Group in the Department for the Economy, which has responsibility for apprenticeships and youth training programmes.

    Richard Kirk, the director of Workplus said “NISRA statistics show that in 2024 Northern Ireland will have the lowest number of 21 years old in over half a century. What that means for the future of work and education is very interesting and we are finding that employers are looking to non-graduates to help support their business growth, with many now developing talents through apprenticeships.

    “In doing so, they are finding new talent streams, shaping curriculum, building more inclusive teams and helping everyone from school leavers to returners continue learning and start earning, without the burden of student debt. Attending this event is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to find out more how apprentices could be the right choice for yourself, your child, your students or your business.”

    Tickets for the free event which starts at 8.30am on Thursday 5 December, are available from Eventbrite here.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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