skip to main content

South West College trio shortlisted for NI Apprenticeship Awards 2024

Three talented South West College apprentices have been shortlisted for awards at the 2024 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a special awards ceremony at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday 27 March 2024.

SWC Higher Level apprentice Joanne McCubbin from Coleraine, who studied a Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) Foundation Degree in Transport and Supply Chain Management at the SWC Dungannon campus and is employed by Manfreight Ltd, has been shortlisted in the NI Higher Level Apprentice of the Year category.

Omagh campus student Emma Taggart from Omagh, who studies Level 3 Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing and is employed by Bupa Dental Care Omagh and Dungannon campus student Kim Hunter from Cookstown, who is a second-year Level 3 gold engineering apprentice and is employed by Greiner Packaging, have both been shortlisted for the NI Apprentice of the Year award.

The NI Apprenticeship Awards are an annual event which recognise apprentices who are making a significant contribution in their workplace and have shown a dedication to excel in their professional development and learning, and influential partnerships between employers and training providers that support the continuous growth of skills development in Northern Ireland. There are seven award categories: Apprentice Award; Higher Level Apprentice Award; Large Employer Award, SME Award, Mentor Award, Public Sector Apprentice Award and new for 2024, the Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Apprenticeships offer students a unique opportunity to learn in an academic environment while also working in industry. Speaking about the Apprenticeship Awards, Higher Level Apprentice Joanne McCubbin said:

“I feel very privileged to be shortlisted for this award, which in turn helps highlight the often forgot about transport and supply chain industry which is a vital part of society, most people fall into the Industry by pure chance or have been brought up within the sector. This is one of the largest sectors for employment within NI, no one at school tells you this is a good career path as its massively misunderstood, Transport is not just driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle, it takes a great team of people with lots of different types of specific knowledge, to keep the operation moving smoothly.

“I recommended the transport and Supply Management course as it was developed by the people within the industry, for the industry. Studying this course allowed me to cement by knowledge through education and advance my understanding of the sector, the support and help from the college was amazing and they gave me the confidence to move from driver to office management.”

Emma and Kim, who have also been shortlisted, share a deep sense of pride in receiving this honour and recognize the immense value of pursuing an apprenticeship. They would both recommend that others explore the opportunities Further and Higher Education Colleges have to offer.

Emma said: “Being nominated for apprentice of the year Northern Ireland 2024 has made me feel extremely grateful that all the hard work I put in over my year in the college doing my dental nursing didn’t go unseen. It’s made me feel very proud of myself for getting this far in the awards process and seeing everything I have accomplished and achieved in my time in SWC.”

Kim said: "The apprenticeship route gave me the independence of being able to study and gain UCAS points whilst also getting work experience in Greiner and becoming financially stable. I’ve always had a passion for engineering and being able to gain valuable skills from other people in the industry and study at the same time was a far more practical option in my opinion for me than A levels."

The Awards are part of NI Apprenticeship Week, an annual week-long celebration from 5-9 February, led by the Department for the Economy, aiming to raise the profile of apprenticeships across Northern Ireland by bringing together partners including local councils, employers, universities, further education colleges and private training providers.

It provides an excellent opportunity for individuals of all ages who aspire to become apprentices, as it provides a platform to gain valuable insight into a wide range of apprenticeships across various sectors. These sectors encompass construction, transport, accountancy, trades, engineering, dental, and more.

As part of NI Apprenticeship Week, SWC is hosting an All About Apprenticeships event for those who are considering applying for an apprenticeship in 2024. The event will provide the opportunity for parents/guardians/students to have a personal video or voice call appointment with a member of the apprenticeship team at SWC.

All About Apprenticeships

Friday 9 February from 9 to 6pm


Sign up.
Get Qualified.

Subscribe now for hand-picked courses, inspiration and the latest news and offers, straight to your inbox. The details provided will be used to send you relevant information about SWC.