Northern Regional College’s collaborative approach has helped them to develop working partnerships with over 1,000 companies. Pictured are students who are undertaking an apprenticeship at Harland & Wolff.
By identifying local businesses’ needs, the College has implemented a number of apprenticeships, traineeships, business development and further education programmes which have allowed the companies to be directly involved in the skills development of their employees.
Patrick Wallace, Principal Lecturer in Engineering and Motor Vehicle at Northern Regional College, said:: “We work with SMEs right through to large companies with more than 250 employees and our partnership and engagement approach with local industry has proved very successful.
“My role is to link with industry, discuss their training opportunities, and then develop these training opportunities to help the company realise their full potential.
“Outcomes of such discussions have resulted in upskilling courses for organisations, the development of innovation initiatives, and of course, apprenticeships.”
Close industry and education partnerships mean that students get valuable, practical experience which fully equips them ahead of graduating from the College and entering the world of work.
Recently, Harland & Wolff partnered with the College to develop a bespoke training programme for Level 2 apprentices, providing them with the opportunity to develop a wide range of broad-based skills in engineering.
The programme will see the rotation of apprentices around the maritime and offshore engineering sections allowing them to understand how the company operates, the diversity of skills within the organisation and the processes that components involved in the manufacturing process.
The College also works closely with Harland & Wolff’s management and supervisors to develop the relevant skills that apprentices will need for working on-site.
Patrick continued: “This bespoke, collaborative approach has allowed us to develop a close working relationship with the company. This in turn has helped the College understand the company’s business requirements and deliver a programme that is relevant to the business needs of Harland and Wolff. This develops a pipeline for future skills, as well as meeting requirements for economic growth in the wider engineering sector,” Patrick added.
Steven Wright, General Manager of Harland & Wolff believes the company had benefitted from its relationship with the College. He said: “Our supportive and collaborative relationship with Northern Regional College has allowed us to create a unique and valuable learning experience for our apprentices.
“By working in close partnership with us, Northern Regional College has been able to understand our core company values and in response, offer accredited in-classroom learning to students.
“For students who are studying the newly developed Harland & Wolff apprenticeship, it has been a fantastic way to re-skill during uncertain times.”