Northern Regional College apprentices who excelled at the NI Skillbuild finals have been congratulated by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Joan Baird OBE.
Second year carpentry apprentice with Mark Pollock, Kilrea, Samuel Gilmore from Aghadowey, won a gold medal in the carpentry section and received the top accolade of the Best Overall Skillbuild NI Young Apprentice of the Year.
First year plumbing apprentice Abigail Reilly from Ballymoney, who is employed by the Dowd’s Group, won a bronze medal in the plumbing section. Abigail was one of only a handful of female apprentices to compete in the finals and the only first year medal winner across the ten different skills areas which included plumbing, carpentry, joinery, electrical installation and brickwork.
Speaking after a recent civic reception held in honour of the students, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “I was delighted to meet Abigail and Samuel and offer them my personal congratulations.
“Apprenticeship schemes offer important opportunities for our young people, allowing them to gain qualifications while putting their skills to use in the workplace. Samuel and Abigail are fantastic role models and I hope their success encourages others to take advantage of the apprenticeships that exist across the Causeway Coast and Glens.”
Terri Scott, College Principal and Chief Executive said the success of Northern Regional College apprentices at the NI Skillbuild finals highlighted the strong working relationship between the College and local employers.
“Competitions like Skillbuild are a great way to showcase talent and the technical skills of our apprentices and also demonstrate to employers the high standard of provision which exists in our College.
“This connection with industry is important and we work closely with businesses to ensure our provision is relevant and reflects the industry needs and international standards.”
She said successful apprenticeship programmes help boost the local economy.
“Apprentices are earning as they learn so are contributing to the economy and, when they complete their apprenticeship, they are more likely to be in employment with higher disposable income which goes back into the economy.”
Other Northern Regional College apprentices to excel at the NI finals were Derek McMullan from Glenarm and Andrew McSorley from Carrickfegus. Derek and Andrew won gold and bronze medals respectively in the brickwork skills section.
Skillbuild NI is an annual showcase competition, organised by CITB NI and supported by the Department for the Economy, to help assist with maintaining and raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training. Over seventy construction apprentices took the 2018 Skillbuild NI finals which this year were hosted by NWRC in Limavady.
Northern Regional College offers a wide range of work based learning programmes including Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLA), Apprentices and Training for Success courses. Full details of all the work based learning options available at the College can be viewed online at www.nrc.ac.uk