Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has met with engineering apprentices at Moy Park.
The nine apprentices, who are working towards a Level 3 qualification in engineering at Southern Regional College and Northern Regional College, are the most recent cohort to be recruited onto Moy Park’s Engineering Apprenticeship scheme.
The Level 3 BTEC Maintenance Engineering apprenticeship lasts for four years with time split between the classroom and the workplace.
According to a spokesperson for Moy Park, when apprentices finish the BTEC, they have an opportunity to move into a permanent engineering role within the business and can, if they wish, go on to do Level 4 (equivalent to a foundation degree) and Level 5 (equivalent to an honours degree) apprenticeships with the company.
Dr Farry said, “Engineering is an exciting career path. Problem solving and the ability to think creatively are the tools of the trade for people working in this area and these skills are essential to the growth of our economy.
“Apprenticeships are key to ensuring that people have the skills that employers need.
“That is why my department has developed a new blueprint for the future of apprenticeships which will put employers in the driving seat, allowing them to work with Government and other stakeholders to design and agree the content of apprenticeships.
“It is my intention to have in place an established progression route into a foundation degree in engineering which means these apprentices will have the opportunity to continue their learning should they so wish.”
Moy Park’s HR director Europe, Mike Mullan, said, “As Moy Park continues to grow, it is important that we have the right skills across our business. This apprenticeship scheme is a great avenue for us to identify and nurture engineering talent.
“The food industry provides opportunities for careers in a wide range of disciplines and apprenticeships are one of the very successful ways we at Moy Park invest in developing talent.”