Manufacturing NI is collaborating with Workplus and Upskill Enterprise to encourage more apprenticeships across its member companies.

The project, which has been funded by the Department for Economy’s Apprenticeship Challenge Fund, will support Manufacturing NI member companies to continue or begin engaging with the apprenticeship system.

The project has been designed to increase employer confidence to engage with the system through a simple apprentice recruitment process with Workplus as well as an advanced skills audits through Upskill Enterprise’s TalentSensus platform helping employers see that apprentices can be part of their talent plans.

Mary Meehan, Deputy CEO of Manufacturing NI, said, “Against the backdrop of unprecedented and challenging times, it remains important, now more than ever, that we continue to support the development of the apprenticeship skills pipeline into our manufacturing sector.  This project will assist companies in identifying gaps and securing new talent with the ultimate goal of embedding well matched apprenticeships in the sector leading to high quality, rewarding and sustainable careers.  Thanks to the Department of Economy for this funding, we firmly believe that these apprenticeships will play a key role in the recovery for our industry.”

Richard Kirk, CEO of Workplus – an online platform which brings apprentices and employers together – says the project has been created to remove barriers for employers recruiting apprenticeships; “Manufacturing is a critical sector in Northern Ireland, with 1 in 4 jobs linked to it. The sector has played a significant role in the NI economy’s recovery from COVID-19 but despite the Skills Barometer’s projections regarding the sector’s future demand there has been a decrease in applicants to courses in 2020. This project has been designed to address this and provide companies with support to identify gaps and find new talent.”

Stephen Rice, CEO of Upskill Enterprise, innovators of TalentSensus, a ground-breaking talent management platform designed to eliminate unconscious bias using skills matching, said; “The continual recovery and growth of our economy is dependent on the subsequent success of all of our critical industries including Manufacturing. For this to happen, unearthing and harnessing the key skills that reside in our communities is fundamental. This process is vitally important to ensure that employers can visualise how apprenticeships can work for them, allowing rapid and fair access to some of Northern Ireland’s top future talent.”

For further information on the project, register your interest here

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