WITH vital funding from The Gallaher Trust, the Prince’s Trust and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Manufacturing Task Force, which are both current delivery partners, have collaborated on a special project to boost the skills of young people hoping to work in manufacturing.
Entitled ‘Get Into Manufacturing’, the programme is currently accepting applications and will enable participants to gain hands-on experience and boost their skills with local manufacturers including Apeer Doors, Garage Door Systems and Moore Concrete.
Job opportunities will also be available upon completion of the programme, which according to Ian Paisley MP, Chairman of The Gallaher Trust, is what the charity’s mission is all about.
“At The Gallaher Trust, we support eligible projects and delivery partners that are committed to creating jobs, developing skills and assisting disadvantaged adults,” Ian explained.
“This programme was inspired by the Manufacturing Academy which is currently being funded by the Trust. Two of our current delivery partners have come together to offer this programme – and we were delighted to be able to support it.
“Those who live in smaller towns and rural communities like Ballymena and its surrounding areas, have a lot to gain from participating in programmes like this, including a chance to learn new skills right on their doorstep.
“In terms of the manufacturing sector, offering local employment opportunities helps the industry to grow and ensures that there is a pool of well qualified staff.”
“This new pilot programme should appeal to those aged 18 to 30-years-old who are interested in exploring a career in the manufacturing sector,” explained Nathan McAuley, Head of Service Delivery at the Prince’s Trust.
“The Prince’s Trust also shares The Gallaher Trust’s ethos of supporting young adults in our community, which is why we decided to apply to become a delivery partner.
“Through the ‘Get Into Manufacturing’ programme, we hope that participants will be able to learn new skills, develop their confidence and ultimately secure employment with a local company.
“Getting the chance to gain hands-on experience with guidance from some of Northern Ireland’s best manufacturing companies will be invaluable and will serve participants very well in the future.”
Graham Whitehurst, Chairman of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Manufacturing Task Force, claims that this programme is a ‘win-win’ for both manufacturing companies and participants alike.
“Despite the challenging times in recent years that local manufacturing companies have been working in, there is a clear need and a demand for a skilled workforce,” he said.
“The ‘Get Into Manufacturing’ programme is advantageous for all parties. Employers will have access to a growing pool of highly skilled employees and participants will improve their skills, confidence and career prospects.
“Helping young people to develop the necessary knowledge for a career in the manufacturing sector, will in turn secure the growth of the sector within Ballymena which can only be welcomed.”
The Prince’s Trust is hosting a ‘taster day’ on 24th August with the programme due to begin on 31st August. To sign up, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.