Ashley Johnston from Lisburn is pursuing a career with Montupet UK (Ltd) while completing a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Mechatronics Engineering.
The Mechatronics Engineering Higher Level Apprenticeship which is delivered at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is one of the Higher Level Apprenticeships developed as part of the Northern Ireland Apprenticeships Strategy – Securing Our Success.
Speaking about the experience so far Ashley said: “I decided to do an apprenticeship because I am a hands-on type of person. The course allows me to work towards a third level qualification whilst earning a salary. This is more than just a normal course; it teaches you how to apply your skills and prepares you for life after education.”
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, said: “I am committed to growing and developing apprenticeships in Northern Ireland – creating gold standard provision as part of the new skills landscape that will benefit both young people and our economy.
“The benefits of apprenticeships are well documented with apprentices able to earn while they learn, develop and practice skills in the work environment and enhance their future career prospects.
“The development of this and other Higher Level Apprenticeships in priority skills areas are vital for the future success of the Northern Ireland economy. Higher Level Apprenticeships will be available from Foundation Degree to PhD level as we implement the strategy ensuring we deliver the future skills required to support the local economy.”
SERC Curriculum Leader, Ken McKinstry, said: “The development of this apprenticeship demonstrates SERC’s commitment to working with local business to ensure that our curriculum offer is both relevant and meaningful to support the future growth and expansion of local companies. The Higher Level Apprenticeships include a combination of ‘on and off the job’ training. The ‘off the job’ training element is delivered by SERC on a day release basis.”
Montupet Training Manager, James Hegarty, commented: “Higher Level Apprentices provide us with access to a pool of talent and help us to build a workforce with the technical skills and knowledge that we need to keep up to date with the latest techniques and technologies. You get an opportunity to train the person to work the way your company needs them to work, and at the same time they are acquiring skills that will make them an asset to the business. Investment in skills and young people is critical for enhancing productivity and building a competitive edge.”