30/01/2013

Minister Visits NIE Training Centre

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, today visited the Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Training Centre at Campsie to tour the facility and meet with ApprenticeshipsNI participants

Speaking during the visit, Dr Farry thanked NIE for their continued support for the Department for Employment and Learning's ApprenticeshipsNI programme and said: "It is important to remember that without the involvement of employers there would be no apprentices. I would therefore like to congratulate NIE who, despite the economic challenges we face, continue to invest in training and skills in preparation for the opportunities which lie ahead.

"Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to build knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and earn money all at the same time. With well over 11,000 apprentices in Northern Ireland, in a diverse range of sectors, apprenticeships are a popular route to a successful career.

"Employers understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business with increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force. We need to continue to get the message out to all our employers that apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent or indeed train an existing employee. I have recently launched a campaign which endeavours to build on our previous promotions, to engage with and motivate more employers to avail of the benefits of taking on apprentices."

Minister Farry also offered his Department's support for NIE's Apprentice Graduate Scholarship Programme which will see two recently qualified NIE apprentices per year being offered the opportunity to apply to undertake and complete a BEng or MEng which will be sponsored by NIE.

(CD)

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