AN 18 year old retail trainee from Newcastle has won the province’s first ever Modern Apprentice of the Year Award.

During a presentation ceremony held in the Culloden Hotel, Daniel Doran was presented with a trophy, a commemorative plaque and a multi-media PC sponsored by Sx3.

At the event top business leaders, training providers and government representatives were all on hand to acknowledge the achievements of some of Northern Ireland’s most promising young people.

The programme, which currently involves more that 4000 young people across a number of industries in Northern Ireland, has been recognised by employers and employees alike as a means of meeting the needs of industry, while providing young people with valuable rounded skill sets.

Strict criteria were applied to limit the number of entries from the large number of Modern Apprentices currently participating in the scheme. The standard of entrants for the award was such that a decision on the winner took the panel of three judges more than two days to decide on a winner from shortlist of six Modern Apprentices. A runner-up prize, donated, by the Hastings Group, was presented to Linda McElhone, an administration Modern Apprentice from Killough.

Speaking at the event Minister for Higher and Further Education, Training and Employment, Dr Sean Farren said: "Modern Apprenticeships are engaging employers, of every size and in almost every sector, more in the training process, resulting in better motivated young people, improved retention rates, good quality management of training and regular and effective monitoring of their progress."

"My congratulations to all the young people who were nominated to take part in the Modern Apprentice of the year competition. The standard of nominee was exceptionally high and reflected the very talented young people who are following Modern Apprenticeships."

Chairman of the judging team, Sheree Totton, said they extremely pleased with the standard of entries, which she said showed the dedication of the Modern Apprentice and the commitment of employers and training providers.


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