Lyons Launches 2023 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards – Department for the Economy | Team Cansler

Business Secretary Gordon Lyons has launched the 2023 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards and is inviting applications to find the Apprentice of the Year.


Pictured with the Minister are (L-R) Professor Jonathan Heggarty MBE, External Judge; 2022 Higher Level Apprentice Award Winner, Lewis Connelly; Lauren Johnston, 2022 Apprentice Award Winner, and Kathryn McCamley, 2023 Jury Chair.

The Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards recognize apprentices, employers and training organizations who have shown exceptional progress as well as personal achievement and commitment, culminating in a special awards ceremony on 29 March 2023.

Introducing the awards, the Minister said: “I am delighted to launch the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2023. The Apprentice of the Year Awards began back in 2001 and over the years these awards have had a track record of showcasing and celebrating the depth and quality of the talent of our local apprentices, their employers and training providers across a variety of industries.

“Developing the local skills base is a key priority for me and a cornerstone of our economic recovery. My department’s 10X economic vision and associated skills strategy sets out how we aim to equip people with the skills they need in the ever-evolving labor market and help build on Northern Ireland’s successes on a global scale. Apprenticeships are an essential part of this vision.

“It is important that we celebrate the excellent work of our apprentices, employers and apprenticeship providers and I would encourage everyone working in the many apprenticeships across Northern Ireland to share their apprenticeship experiences with us by entering the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards participate competition.”

Professor Jonathan Heggarty MBE, Principal and CEO of Stranmillis University College said: “I am really looking forward to being a judge again this year. Apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships are extremely important to the future of Northern Ireland’s economy and offer apprentices a fantastic opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ in a variety of career paths.

“It is fitting that the talent, dedication, and hard work of students, employers, and training providers are once again recognized through the NI Apprenticeship Awards. I wish all applicants the best and look forward to meeting our finalists, speaking to them and hearing about their experiences.”

There are five prize categories:

  • Trainee Award (levels 2-3);
  • Higher education price (level 4+);
  • Large Employer in partnership with its Training Provider Award (employers of 250+ employees);
  • Small and Medium Enterprises in partnership with their Training Provider Award (employers with fewer than 250 employees); and,
  • Outstanding Mentor Award.

Applications for the awards are now possible. The application deadline is Friday, November 18, 2022, 12 noon.

For more information, including full details of the application criteria for each of the awards and how to apply, visit the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2023 page on the Department’s website.

Notes for editors:

1. SIGNATURE: Business Secretary Gordon Lyons launched the 2023 Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards and invites applications for Apprentice of the Year. Pictured with the Minister are (L-R) Professor Jonathan Heggarty MBE, External Judge; 2022 Higher Level Apprentice Award Winner, Lewis Connelly; Lauren Johnston, 2022 Apprentice Award Winner, and Kathryn McCamley, 2023 Jury Chair.

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