Ever thought of being an apprentice?

As another academic year has concluded, school leavers in Ballymena face a myriad of choices and have some important decisions to make.
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Recognising how difficult it can be to navigate these next step, Northern Regional College in collaboration with the other Further Education colleges in Northern Ireland, has produced a package of resources to promote and enhance apprenticeship schemes.

Launched recently by Paul Frew MLA, ‘Mentor Connect’ is supported by the NI Apprenticeship Challenge Fund through the Department for the Economy and was awarded funding of £85,000. It offers a range of online materials for both employers and apprentices which will strengthen relationships and ensure that apprentices gain the maximum benefit from their experience. Employers can access a free online training module leading to a recognition as an Apprenticeship Mentor. They can also explore an Employers’ Toolkit, which explains fully the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship scheme. New and aspiring apprentices can access an Apprentice Toolkit, which provides them with the information needed to secure an apprenticeship job, to prepare them for joining the workplace and to make the most of their apprenticeship in order to build a career in their chosen area.

Encouraging young people to consider an apprenticeship, Sean McAleese, Work Based Learning Manager at NRC, said becoming an apprentice can be a great way to kick start a career. The Mentor Connect package of resources can be accessed, free of charge, via www.nrc.ac.uk/mentorconnect.