Mentor Connect Launched to Employers and Apprentices

Posted By:
Southern Regional College

30th Jun 2021

A package of resources to promote and enhance the apprenticeship programme offered at the six Further Education Colleges in NI has today been launched. This is part of a collaborative project by all six Colleges.

‘Mentor Connect’, which has been developed under the NI Apprenticeship Challenge Fund through the Department for the Economy, offers a range of online materials for both employers and apprentices aimed at strengthening relationships and ensuring that apprentices gain the maximum benefit from their experience. Employers can access a free online training module leading to recognition as an Apprenticeship Mentor. They can also explore the Employers’ Toolkit, which explains fully how the NI Apprenticeship programme works.

New and aspiring apprentices can access an ‘Apprentice Toolkit’, which provides them with the information needed to secure an apprenticeship job, prepares them for joining the workplace and helps them make the most of their apprenticeship in order to build a career in their chosen area.

Denise Cornett, Training & Apprenticeship Manager at SRC was involved in the programme development and delivery and commented:

“SRC works with a wide range of local employers in the southern region to help them develop and grow their businesses through supply of apprentice level employees. The Mentor Connect resources will enable current and prospective apprentices and employers to access a toolkit of important information and ensure that businesses are able to fully support an apprentice by appointing a mentor to guide the apprentice on their training journey. This will benefit both the apprentice and the business and contribute to a successful outcome for both parties”.

William Greer of SERC (South Eastern Regional College), who chaired the working group drawn from the six Colleges, added:

“The apprenticeship offering across the six colleges in NI is diverse and we all work with industry and business to ensure that the future workforce is fully qualified and skilled. Support from the Apprenticeship Challenge Fund through the DfE enabled us to collaborate effectively to identify the needs of apprentices and to seek out best practice in meeting those needs.

“The result of this is the range of resources under the umbrella of Mentor Connect, making sure employers and apprentices are fully informed about the apprenticeship scheme and its benefits and offering employers the opportunity to gain mentorship skills as part of their own professional development – which will help everyone get more out of the apprenticeship experience.

“The package of resources reflects the hard work of so many teams in all the colleges, working together to produce material we can be proud of and which will serve to strengthen the NI Apprenticeship scheme.”

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