Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is welcoming 12 new apprentices into its established apprenticeship programme.  

Today, (Friday 8 September) Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) will open its doors to 12 new apprentices who are part of its Careers Pathway Programme. 

Now in its third year, the Apprenticeship Programme provides opportunities for anyone interested in upskilling or reskilling, changing their career path or trying something new.

The Programme also offers participants the opportunity to work in a diverse, dynamic and multifaceted organisation providing opportunities in Sports and Leisure, Tourism, Marketing, Events, Parks and Amenities, Facilities, Greenkeeping, Horticulture, IT and Communities.

In partnership with SERC, Belfast Met and CAFRE; LCCC is offering Level 2 and Level 3 paid apprenticeships across the organisation so that successful applicants can ‘earn while they learn’ and still complete their qualifications.

Apprentices’ work is complemented by an academic course of study – providing them an academic qualification upon completion. The Council-run apprenticeships are at least 18 months in length and each varies in challenge and structure, depending on the occupation involved.

Many of those who have been on the apprenticeship programme have made the transition to full employment within the Council. This benefits the organisation in terms of succession planning, as well as staff retention and attraction. In addition, the skills acquired by apprentices contribute to the realisation of service objectives.

David Burns, Chief Executive of the Council welcomed apprentices on their first day along with Alderman Owen Gawith, Chair of the Council’s Corporate Services Committee and Caroline Magee, Director of Organisation Development and Innovation.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, David Burns said: “Local government is a great place to work and learn and I'm delighted to welcome this year's student group. The programme is already making a real difference and helping develop the next generation of talent to work across our service areas.

“Last year we took on six people – but this year we have doubled that number and have recruited 12 enthusiastic individuals. The work we do is so important and people rely on us every day to deliver essential services. I am excited to see the positive impact our new apprentices can have and I am pleased to support them on their educational journey.”

Alderman Owen Gawith said: “It is really energising to meet with apprentices who are just beginning their professional journeys or making the move from other career paths. They are engaged, eager to learn and on a productive and exciting pathway.”

Taylor Hill, a former apprentice in the HR department, who was part of the first cohort and has now secured a full-time position at LCCC said: “I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to build their knowledge base and fast-track their career. It allows you to learn on the job and there’s a real possibility of securing employment at the end of your apprenticeship.”