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New NI Civil Service apprenticeship scheme rolls out across the province

Civil Service Main

Published: 1 July 2022

Belfast Met was delighted to host an induction event for the new Operational Delivery Apprentices employed within the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) at its e3 Springvale campus.

The College welcomed the NICS Operational Delivery Profession central team and forty new Operational Delivery Apprentices to Belfast Met, as they embark on a new and exciting career journey as operational delivery professionals.

The Operational Delivery Apprentice Scheme, which is managed by the Department for Communities, launched last year and is a pathway into employment within the Civil Service. Apprentices will earn as they learn over a two year period and on successful completion of the apprenticeship will receive permanent employment within the Civil Service. Operational Delivery professionals undertake a wide variety of activities delivering and supporting essential front line services.

Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, the department which has the majority of apprentice places from the scheme, said; “I am delighted that my department has been able to play a key role in providing these opportunities for apprentices to begin a career in the civil service to deliver essential services.

“Through this event our Operational Delivery apprentices have been able to get an oversight of the importance of their role and how they are able to contribute to our aim of Supporting People, Building Communities and Shaping Places. We will continue to support them on their apprenticeship journey in partnership with Belfast Met through this innovative and exciting scheme.”

The co-designed approach to developing a career-focused employer-led programme meets the needs of the NICS Operational Delivery Profession, with Apprentices being central to the College’s vision and purpose of delivering skills relevant for the Northern Ireland workforce.

Louise Warde Hunter, Principal & Chief Executive at Belfast Met, said, “The College is delighted to work in partnership with NICS and to play our part within the education and skills ecosystem supporting employers to grow their talented workforce. The delivery of this new apprenticeship scheme underpins Belfast Met's vision of driving innovation as a true Partner of Choice for NICS. We look forward to seeing our Apprentices thrive through this learning pathway”

The College has made digital teaching, learning and working part of its DNA. Hence, the Operational Delivery Apprenticeship Scheme is being delivered via Belfast Met’s new state of the art “Met LIVE” virtual teaching studio and epitomises its dedication to continually innovate and break the boundaries to support employer partners and learners.

The Apprenticeship scheme embraces the best of modern learning practices to provide the Apprentices with a learning experience that encompasses; Project-Based Learning, Virtual Classrooms, Group Learning, Peer-to-Peer Networking, Learning Assistant E-portfolio, Evolve Online Testing, and Dedicated Workplace Mentors.
The forty new Apprentices will earn, learn, and develop professionally by training to become operational delivery professionals on a two-year programme that is spread across Northern Ireland, across 5 government departments from Belfast to Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Londonderry/Derry.

Aidan Sloane, Director at Belfast Met, said,
“We wish our Apprentices every success on their career journey in completing this exciting and innovative Apprenticeship”.

Paddy Rooney, NICS ODP Head of Profession confirmed: “I’m delighted to welcome the Operational Delivery apprentices to the NICS, where they will have the opportunities to develop their skills in the delivery of critical public services.”

Beverley Wall, Deputy Secretary of Strategic Policy and Professional Services, Department for Communities added; “This apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to develop skills and earn a wage whilst gaining qualifications through our partnership with Belfast Met.”

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