Neil Freeburn from Ballymoney, a trainee from the NIE Networks Apprenticeship Programme, has emerged as one of the best in the industry across the UK and Ireland, having recently been awarded a high-profile bursary in his field.
Neil, alongside other trainee engineers Ryan Morgan, Jack Hoy and Molly Guy, received an Engineering Horizons Bursary from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), a global network of professional engineers, for their commitment and dedication to their individual apprenticeships.
The Engineering Horizons Bursary is a new initiative aimed at supporting students and apprentices who are taking a vocational route into a career in engineering or are in need of financial assistance throughout their training.
A number of bursaries worth up to £4,000 are awarded each year, supported by the IET, as well as various charitable organisations and engineering companies.
Neil, a Cable Jointing Apprentice, is currently in the final year of his apprenticeship.
NIE Networks Training Manager Raymond McMenemy, who began his career as an NIE Networks apprentice over 40 years ago, commented: “We are thrilled that our apprentices have received such recognition by being awarded with the prestigious Engineering Horizons Bursary.
“The NIE Networks Apprenticeship Programme provides an invaluable platform for our trainees to launch their careers, and from our point of view, it is also key in attracting and retaining the very best of local talent.
“This scheme is a great opportunity for apprentices to gain highly specialised skills to work on the
electricity network, and we firmly believe that the best way to develop skilled, motivated and enthusiastic future employees is through this targeted and focused approach.”
The NIE Networks Apprenticeship Programme, which has been running for over 40 years, is the only IET accredited apprenticeship programme in Northern Ireland.
Over the last four decades, more than 400 apprentices have qualified with the company, with 35 apprentices currently enrolled and a further ten commencing training this year. The programme is delivered by experienced instructors who have been selected as role models within their respective disciplines to pass on their practical know-how in the training centres.
Alongside the chance to gain hands-on technical experience and work towards achieving a nationally-recognised qualification in Electrical Engineering, NIE Networks also offers a training salary to participants throughout the course of their apprenticeship.
Applications for the next NIE Networks Apprenticeship Programme intake will open in early 2020.
More details can be found at www.nienetworks.co.uk/careers.