Awards ceremony for Wrightbus apprentices

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has presented Apprenticeship NI Certificates to 38 apprentices employed by Wrightbus, Ballymena, at an award ceremony in the Tullyglass House Hotel.

Twenty two apprentices have achieved Level 3 in Engineering and fifteen achieved Level 2 in Stores/Warehousing, along with one apprentice achieving Level 2 in Sustainable Waste Management. In addition, one apprentice received a special award, sponsored by Seven Towers Training, for the ‘Most Driven Apprentice’ for his drive and determination to succeed in achieving his Level 3 in Engineering.

Speaking at the event, Dr Farry said: “Apprenticeships play a vital role in ensuring that we have a better skilled, modern and dynamic workforce to drive our economy forward. In these challenging times, competition for business contracts is even tougher. It is therefore more important than ever that business invests in high quality training that helps individuals develop fulfilling careers, drives competitiveness and fuels economic growth.”

The Minister continued: “Increasing skills levels, particularly those in science, technology, engineering or maths, is a crucial ingredient in both rebuilding and rebalancing our economy. Employers such as Wrightbus who are investing in the skills of their workforce are clearly reaping the positive benefit for the company.”

Mrs Mandy Knowles, Wright Group HR & Welfare Director, said: “Every apprentice here today should be rightly proud of themselves as they will play a crucial role in creating future products we can take pride in and also gain industry experience. Indeed, a constant strive for new innovations and the skills obtained on our apprenticeship training scheme are the essence of our future leaders. Hard work and manufacturing competence demonstrated by those graduating today allow us to continue to manufacture and create products Northern Ireland can take pride in.”

Dean Greer, an engineering apprentice from Ballymena, said: “I have found the apprenticeship scheme to be the perfect opportunity for me to work in a professional environment and further my qualifications, whilst being paid. There are also great prospects for me to build a fulfilling career. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to learn skills and experience. They are also a route into employment which I would recommend everyone to consider.”

The Apprentice Training is provided through the Wright Group in partnership with Seven Towers Training and supported by Department for Employment and Learning

Twenty-two Wright Group Engineering apprentices and 15 Stores and Warehousing apprentices have been recognised for outstanding occupational progress, excellent practical and theoretical application and positive drive.

The apprentices were each presented with Record of Achievement folders containing certificates required for completion of their Apprenticeships NI.