UK Regional Youth Training and Apprenticeship Programme
Northern Ireland has long-term systemic problems related to the transition from school into the world of work. Despite the high levels of educational attainment in the secondary education system, solutions were required to deal with school leavers leaving with no qualifications.
The NI Colleges worked to develop unique solutions for Youth Training and Apprenticeships across all the key economic sectors in the region.
NI Colleges worked to develop the largest provision of Youth Training and Apprenticeships programmes across the UK across a range of professional and technical areas. The Colleges were contracted through the Ministry of for Employment and Learning during this period to take on the delivery of training to 16-17 year old school leavers entering the TVET system for the first time and for 18-24 year old apprenticeships going into employment. Training and Apprenticeship solutions were developed in areas as diverse as engineering, business administration, financial services, ICT, health and social care, tourism and hospitality, electrical engineering, plumbing, aeronautical engineering, retail, civil engineering.
NI Colleges have unrivalled capacity to develop and deliver professional and technical solutions in this space which underpins the TVET solution for Northern Ireland which is fundamental to the Economic and Industrial Strategy. Working closely with other private training providers and community training providers the training and apprenticeship model developed has been fundamental to the jobs growth and upskilling efforts in the region. The programmes have been part funded by the European Social Fund and are subject to stringent contract, financial and quality management processes. All College delivery is regularly inspected and evaluated by the Northern Ireland Education and Training Inspectorate (equivalent UK OFSTED) and there are a number of areas where Colleges in Northern Ireland provider Grade 1 outstanding.
Over the period 2007-2015 NI Colleges delivered youth training for 90,000 16-17 yr olds and supported 54,000 apprentices into employment. The success rates of training and apprenticeship programmes are amongst the highest of any region in the UK.