Fionan Devenney from Drumquin gained the confidence and ‘skills to succeed’ at South West College (SWC) thanks to the NI Apprenticeship Programme, which offered tailored support that helped him grow, achieve and reach his career goals.
Fionan’s journey towards a plumbing career began when he left school, aged 16. Fionan aspired to follow his Dad's footsteps and become a Plumber but faced barriers to learning that impeded his career opportunities. However, Fionan was determined to succeed and knew that he could accomplish anything within the right learning environment.
Fionan said: ‘I enrolled at SWC on the apprenticeship as it provided a more vocational focused route with the opportunity to achieve a range of qualifications relevant to my chosen profession. The programme offered the whole package, with the opportunity to work and acquire the relevant knowledge at a pace that would suit me, combined with extra support that would assist with my professional and personal development. Overall, I felt that it was the perfect fit and would ultimately help me achieve my goal of becoming a fully qualified Plumber.’
During his time at the College, Fionan availed of the support available at the College via the Student Support Service and received additional support under Disability Action’s Training Support Service, comprising of one-to-one support visits, mentoring and guidance. Fionan’s confidence improved, and he prospered, achieving a range of qualifications, including NVQ Level I and II Plumbing alongside essential qualifications in Maths and English.
Fionan said: ‘I am extremely grateful to SWC, especially the Student Support Team, as they have been outstanding, offering tailored advice and assistance when needed. They provided the perfect link between other support services and went above and beyond to make sure I received all the necessary support to achieve my full potential and excel within my studies.’
Fionan’s hard work and determination paid off, and he is now studying an apprenticeship NVQ Level 3 in Plumbing at the SWC, Omagh Campus.
Fiona said: ‘I have enjoyed all the courses at the College and have gained a wealth of knowledge and expertise from both the College and my Dad, who owns Brendan Devenney, Plumbing & Boiler Services, Omagh. The combination of work and study combined with the support that I received has been beneficial towards my progression. I feel it has helped me become more capable and confident as a person and within my career, and I would definitely recommend the SWC to others in a similar position.’
Upon completion, Fionan hopes to continue working within the Plumbing industry and has ambitions to progress and manage his own business one day.
For further information and to apply, please visit www.swc.ac.uk.