SERC Apprentice reaches awards finals

A South Eastern Regional College (SERC) apprentice has been announced a finalist in the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards, which recognise excellence in apprenticeships.

Lauren Johnston

Lauren Johnston, (23), is completing the Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship at SERC’s Lisburn Campus and is employed by Diageo Belfast Packaging.

The young woman is one of three finalists in the Apprentice category of the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards, which will take place on February 9, 2022.

Lauren previously studied early years at university and worked full-time at a special education needs school before taking steps for a career change.

She said, “Following a career break which involved travel, I knew on my return I wanted a change in my career direction. The major turning point was when I took on a renovation project for my house, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The experience and new skills I gained from the hands-on work spurred me on to take the leap. When I discovered Diageo Belfast Packaging were recruiting for apprentices, I jumped at the opportunity to apply and was delighted to successfully secure a position. Since then, I have completed the Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and am currently on the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Engineering through SERC and working in Mechatronics in Diageo Belfast Packaging.

“I am delighted to have been nominated for the Award and to be announced a finalist. It gives me the opportunity to share my apprenticeship journey and to encourage others to consider this route, which is proving successful for my own career ambitions.”

Ivan Kelly, Engineering Lecturer at SERC said, “We are thrilled that Lauren has been announced as a finalist for the NI Apprenticeship Awards. She is a credit to herself and the College. She is testament to how the apprenticeship route can help take someone with determination on a career path.”