Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has launched its biggest apprenticeship recruitment campaign to date. Twenty apprentices were taken on last year; it is hoped to recruit twice that number in September 2011!
Government targets for renewable energy and an extensive programme of network refurbishment over the coming decade means that NIE has to increase its number of skilled engineers, craftspersons and technicians.
The apprenticeship programme welcomes applicants from the age of 16 with a minimum of 4 GCSEs passes at grade C or above including Maths and English Language or equivalent.
The NI training centres are based in Campsie, Co. Derry, Ballymena in Co Antrim and Craigavon in Co. Armagh.
As the apprenticeship progresses on-the-job training becomes increasingly important. Apprentices are placed within productive work teams on site in order to maximise their skills and knowledge and prepare them for their future job roles within the sector.
FAO: Head of Careers; Heads of Years, parents and students
This particular material has arrived from CareersBox, April 2011
Vocational training is a more hands-on way of learning; offering a good combination of work and education. Vocational courses such as apprenticeships allow learners to gain qualifications like Technical Certificates, NVQ's, BTEC's and Diplomas which can be just as valuable as traditional qualifications like GCSE's and A-Levels, but the qualifications are more practical and usually more relevant to the real world of work.
To hear what current students think about young apprenticeships, BTEC's and Diplomas take a look at our brand new collection of vocational films.read more
BAM Nuttall Advanced Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering
Starting in late October, this Apprenticeship trains learners as a Civil Engineer or a Quantity Surveyor. After 2 - 3 years apprentices gain a nationally recognised qualification ready to begin a career in this exciting industry.
These apprenticeship opportunities are for 16-24 year olds with at least 4 GCSE's (Grade A* - C) including Maths, English and Science.
For full details on the qualifications that BAM Nuttall apprentices will gain, routes for further progression and how to apply click here read more
It's not all mechanics and engineering. Here's a small selection of vocational career case study films that you might not have thought about to give you, your colleagues and students a better understanding of some vocational career paths. The short film covering each of the jobs are available from the previous website:
Hair Stylist: Chef: Childminder: Fitness Instructor: Actor: Audio Visual Technician.
BREAKING NEWS - BT Apprenticeships application window now open!
Careersbox can exclusively reveal that the application window for the award winning BT apprenticeships is now open.
This is the second wave of their 2011 apprenticeship recruitment campaign and is for roles including Customer Design and Support; Customer Engineering and Delivery; Customer Handling and Management; and Customer Vehicles and Logistics. The apprenticeships are based nationwide.
Create your own Careers Week poster
A number of Careersbox users have been running their own Careers Week throughout different stages in the year. To support this promotion of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) we're giving you a template to create your own Careers Week poster.
Simply download and save the Word document, type in the dates of your event, save, print and promote.
The changing landscape of CEIAG
The Department of Education has just announced the role of schools and local authorities in careers guidance going forward. Although it might sound like they are distancing themselves from CEIAG, we see it as an exciting opportunity.
This is a great chance to create, discover and share new CEIAG resources and best practice delivered through new forms of communication.
Thanks to the internet and innovative forms of new media there has never been such a varied array of careers information and resources so easily available and accessible at the click of a mouse (or touch of a screen).
Careersbox continues to deliver FREE resources and labour market film media for the careers arena. We have some exciting new films and revolutionary careers tools on the horizon which we hope will further help you deliver quality CEIAG.
In parallel with the practical training apprentices will also study for a BTEC National Certificate in Electrical Engineering and a QCF diploma in Electrical Power Engineering.
For more information about apprenticeships at NIE read more
For an application pack read more
Writing in the Guardian (12th April 2011), Janet Murray provides an insight into how vocational training can lead to degree-standard qualifications. She also points out how young people and employers often ignore the benefits of apprenticeships.
There is no doubt that vocational learning has never managed to attract the same level of interest as either GCSE or A levels. Though well intentioned, the previous Government's target for getting 50% of the 18 to 30 years into Higher Education may be partly to blame for this. For some, vocational routes such as apprenticeships are still seen as second best to academic qualifications. Herein lies the real challenge for career practitioners in bringing this very creditable option to the attention of staff, parents and pupils in the school.
With the Government planning to open University Technical Colleges the tide may be turning. Here pupils can attend from the age of 14 to do work-based learning alongside core academic studies such as English, maths and science. It has also pledged to create more than 100,000 additional apprenticeships over the next five years and introduce nationally recognised standards for all new apprentices.
Many people are unaware of the career prospects and earning potential of apprentices which can far outstrip that of graduates. According to a Department of Education and Skills study carried out in 2007, those with a level 2 apprenticeship (equivalent to GCSE) earn in excess of £73,000 more over a life time compared with those who have other level 2 qualifications or below.
Young people and their parents are often unaware that vocational courses go beyond level 3 and 4 (equivalent to A levels). In fact, there are opportunities to progress to levels 4, 5 and 6 (degree equivalent and beyond). Promoting these qualifications could certainly help boost the image of vocational careers.
It is most interesting to read how many members on the board of a successful company have actually began their working lives as apprentices.
Perhaps if a little research was done both locally and nationally to bring this to the attention of pupils, parents and staff in school, much benefit might arguably be gained in placing vocational learning on a creditable platform.
Consider countries like Singapore, Finland and South Korea, who have an excellent record on skills, They have all challenged this idea that young people have to go from school to university to be successful in life. Their educational philosophy is that young people go and get a skill or trade that ultimately might lead to university because' learning leads to learning'.
Finally, I would encourage our career practitioners to source those individuals who, having begun from the origins of apprenticeship training, are now highly successful in their own business/commercial field. It's all about going out and getting people to tell their story; the dream, the struggle and the prize. Promote the prize and the struggle will become less significant.