With signs of improved activity and job prospects in the local construction industry, South West College (SWC) Omagh Campus, in partnership with local employers hosted an employer engagement evening to introduce prospective students to electrical apprenticeship programmes available at the college.
Newtownstewart-based, ABAX Electrical Ltd and G.R. White & Son Ltd, Tempo, have been providing work placements to the college’s electrical apprentices for a number of years and both companies were keen to speak to new students about developments in the industry, job opportunities and the benefits of following the apprenticeship route on finishing school.
Prospective students also heard from SWC training staff and award-winning students about apprenticeship opportunities, along with the on-going success of SWC students at the SkillBuild competitions, at regional, national and world levels.
SkillBuild is an annual competition run by CITB NI, covering 10 craft occupations and the winners may progress to represent Northern Ireland at the Skills Show UK and potentially at WorldSkills. In April of this year, SWC apprentice’s scooped 12 medals at the SkillBuild NI competition and local apprentice, Kyle Weir (Joinery) was crowned ‘Young Apprentice of the Year 2015’.
Level 3 Electrical Installation apprentice, Stuart Graham from Fivemiletown, took first place at this year’s SkillBuild NI Finals, beating off tough competition from other colleges to clinch the top spot. Speaking about his victory, Stuart attributed his success to the support and training from his tutors at SWC, along with the guidance and on-site practical training from my placement employer, G.R. White.
George White, Managing Director of G.R. White & Son Ltd praised Stuart on his SkillBuild NI success adding: “To receive this news was just fantastic; we are so pleased and delighted for Stuart. The hard work and commitment he has shown throughout his training and employment has paid off and it also reinforces our company’s ethos when it comes to recruiting and training apprentices.”
Deputy Head of Training at SWC, Pat O’Hanlon, said: “The mix of theory, practical work and competition is the recipe for success in the building and construction industry today and at SWC we want to provide future apprentices with the best training available, which will then be employed in the local industry.”
For further information on training and apprenticeship programmes at SWC, please telephone 0845 603 1881 or visit the SWC Training Facebook page.