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Manufacturing academy helping to improve employability

12th January 2022

A BALLYMENA manufacturing academy is helping local students improve their employability.

Northern Regional College developed and delivered the training for the Academy, which was established with funding from The Gallaher Trust with support from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Manufacturing Task Force.

The Academy’s programme was specifically designed to help boost participants’ employability in the local manufacturing sector. Outlining the programme content, Alan Reid, Northern Regional College’s Principal Lecturer with responsibility for industry engagement, explained that participants were introduced to a range of generic manufacturing processes, standard operating and assembly procedures that are applicable across the sector.

He said: “Participants had an opportunity to develop their knowledge in a range of areas including health and safety regulations, inspection and quality assurance principles, working to set specifications, correct use of tools and machinery, fundamentals of computer-controlled equipment and lean and continuous improvement techniques.”

The programme included guest speakers and industrial visits, but the main source of learning was a work-based project to give participants an opportunity to put their newly acquired skills and knowledge into practice. There was also a focus on generic skills such as communication, team working, interview skills and CV building.

Pictured above

A Ballymena manufacturing academy is helping to improve employability in the area. Pictured alongside Northern Regional College staff, Christine Brown, VP Teaching and Learning, Alan Reid and Eoin Mc Gahan who helped deliver the Manufacturing Academy programme are Ian Paisley, Graham Whitehurst and the participants that completed the Ballymena Manufacturing Excellence Academy.

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