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Case Study

Double success for Belfast Met at NI Apprenticeship Awards 2024

Aisling Ying Public Sector Apprentice Award Winner

Ashling, is a Level 3 Networking Apprentice working at the Department of Finance. Returning to study after becoming a new mum, Aisling was recognised for her outstanding commitment to her apprenticeship during which she enrolled for a range of additional up-skilling courses and produced top quality work. 

The College’s partnership with Galgorm Collection received The Large Employer Award for its commitment to developing a unique delivery model for the Higher-Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Hospitality Management. The partnership offers a Foundation Degree in Hospitality Management, empowering apprentices with the skills necessary to excel as effective leaders. It is aiming to address the skills shortage in the industry, remove any barriers to learning for the local workforce, and motivate and prepare the next generation of talented individuals. 

Additional Belfast Met finalists included Gavin Magee who is undertaking his apprenticeship with the Corr’s Corner Hotel. Nominated for the Higher-Level Apprentice Award, Gavin embarked on his apprenticeship journey when he joined McKeever Hotels as a waiter in 2016. Over the last seven years, Gavin successfully completed his L2, L3, and Higher-Level Apprenticeships in Hospitality, before being recently promoted to the position of Duty Manager.

Barry Killen was named as a finalist in the Public Sector Apprentice Award category. Barry is currently studying a City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration, while working at the Department for Communities.

The College’s work with Neddy Teddy’s Day Nursery, Co. Antrim, also earned itself a finalist place in the SME Enterprise in partnership with a Training Provider category. The partnership supports apprentices at Neddy Teddy’s Day Nursery Gold Early Years Centre of Excellence to complete Belfast Met’s L5 Children's Care, Learning, and Development (CCLD) (Management) HLA programme.

Congratulating all of Belfast Met’s winners and finalists, Damian Duffy, Deputy Chief Executive at Belfast Met, said: “To have five apprentices and partnerships chosen as finalists, and to win two of those categories, is testament to Belfast Met’s commitment to excellence and innovation across our Centre for Skills & Apprenticeships. At Belfast Met we are committed to ensuring we offer everyone the pathways they need to realise their potential and to helping industry find the skilled professionals they need, and these awards highlight the difference the opportunities offered by apprenticeships make to people’s lives by doing just that. I would like to congratulate Aisling, our partners in the Galgorm Collection, and all of our colleagues involved in delivering these apprenticeships on their win, and to thank them for their determination and hard work.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Titanic Belfast, Ian Snowden, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy, said: “The Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the exceptional achievements of our apprentices, their employers and mentors, and our training providers. “The Department for the Economy remains dedicated to supporting and promoting apprenticeships. We want to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed. This includes addressing the specific needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds and ensuring employers have access to skilled apprentices who can contribute to their organisations.”

Economy Minister Conor Murphy was unable to attend the awards ceremony but added his congratulations: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill and reskill and enhance your career prospects. They also provide employers with the pipeline of talented people they need to grow their business and be competitive. All of this year’s finalists and award winners can be very proud of their achievements and I congratulate them all on their hard work and dedication.”

Further information on the wide range of training and apprenticeship opportunities on offer through Belfast Met can be found online at

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