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Apprenticeship Success Stories

Fujitsu Apprentices flourish and grow via College & Employer Collaboration

Georgia McGonigal joined leading ICT company Fujitsu as an Advanced Apprentice in November 2017 while completing a Level 3 Networking Infrastructure course at Belfast Met. Coming from a background in retail, Georgia didn’t have any previous experience in IT but was quickly recognised by Fujitsu as a determined and creative team member who thrived while learning new skills. Excelling at her studies, Georgia completed a number of additional units including Microsoft Technical Associate in Microsoft 10 and Security Fundamentals.

Speaking about her time as an apprentice, Georgia said, “An apprenticeship was, for me, the perfect route into the sector. As well as ‘earning while learning’, I gained hands-on workplace experience and insight into how businesses work. One of the most rewarding aspects about the apprenticeship programme is seeing how much you can achieve if you apply yourself. It is a challenging programme and it’s important to strike the right balance between college and work responsibilities but once you get that right, you have the best possible platform to further your career.”

“Working in such a large business, I also got to learn about charity and community engagement and helped fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. Without taking part in the apprenticeship programme, I wouldn’t have made the new friends I did, or gained the business experience and qualifications I now have. Belfast Met and Fujitsu have given me the perfect platform for a career in the industry.

Louise Hull, Administrative Services Team Leader Fujitsu appreciates the longstanding relationship with Belfast Met and how this partnership has allowed the business to employ apprentices who are studying the topics most pertinent to the future of the IT industry. With Fujitsu, apprentices benefit from practical experience at the very start of their career journeys as well as mentorship and networking opportunities.

Louise Hull, Administrative Services Team Leader stated, "Fujitsu Winning the ‘IT Learner of the Year’ Award at the Belfast Metropolitan College Skills and Apprenticeships Awards in 2018, Georgia was applauded by the judges for her enthusiasm and work".

Multiple awards for Peàrse for his work with racing cars

Belfast Met Engineering Technician Peàrse Magee’s career has gone from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye – winning two prestigious awards for his work in 2018. Peàrse, an Engineering Technician with Crosslé Car Company, benefits from the partnership Belfast Met has built with his employer. Crosslé Car Company constructs and exports bespoke racing cars worldwide. Peàrse was awarded the prestigious City and Guilds Medal of Excellence because of his exceptional achievement throughout the course of his studies. Following on from this, Peàrse was recognised with an award at Belfast Met’s Skills and Apprenticeship Awards.

Curriculum Area Manager for Engineering and Electrical Services at Belfast Met, Andrew McNevison, said: “We are delighted with Peàrse’s amazing achievements in 2018. This highlights the important role the Further Education sector has in producing a highly skilled workforce that adds value to local industry. It is also a reflection of the talent and dedication of our engineering tutors.”

Peàrse said that ‘‘Starting at level 2, I’ve studied at Belfast Met for 5 years, and my abilities have grown each year during my Apprenticeship. I have gained invaluable skills and qualities as an Engineering Technician and as a person. Joining the Met has been a great investment into my future as the tutors and staff have provided an excellent teaching and learning environment.’’ Peàrse is currently continuing his studies towards a Higher National Certificate in Engineering at Belfast Met.