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Farrans' Apprentices back Workplus

6th February 2020

Farrans is once again supporting the Workplus campaign, by creating opportunities for aspiring civil engineers, giving them the opportunity to gain qualifications with no fees while getting paid to work.

Workplus has announced that it has created 120 apprenticeship opportunities with 28 employers in Northern Ireland and applications are now open.

The programme, which helps employers develop talent through apprenticeships, estimates that almost £8m will be earned by the successful candidates over the period of their apprenticeships, some of which will last up to six years, with the possibility of permanent jobs.
Two Farrans apprentices, Dermot Irwin and Marius O’Brien have praised the scheme which brings together employers, potential apprentices, colleges and universities to create apprenticeship opportunities.

West Belfast apprentice Dermot Irwin, 21, is a final year apprentice on a Level 5 Foundation degree programme in civil engineering with Farrans.  He joined Farrans on an apprenticeship scheme after his A Levels.

Dermot said: “Learning on the job and from other professionals, earning money while getting qualifications and having no debt from university fees, are all major benefits of taking this route.

“I’d encourage any young person considering higher education to take a look at the opportunities Workplus offers.”

Marius O’Brien, 27, a former pupil of St Patrick’s Grammar School in Armagh, is in the second year of a foundation degree apprentice in civil and environmental engineering in Farrans.

“I went to university but left after two years as I wasn’t enjoying what and how I was learning,” Marius said.

“Having the opportunity to gain qualifications while getting on the job experience is accelerating my career. For me, the fact I don’t have to pay university fees and earn a wage has made the change in career possible. I find that some of my friends who are university graduates are jealous as they are still paying student loans and have relatively little career experience!”

Richard Kirk, Director of Workplus, explained: “With a Workplus Apprenticeship, employers get bright, focused and ambitious people who ensure their companies have the skillset needed to remain competitive. We believe that apprenticeships are the future of work and education.”

Applications for this year’s Workplus scheme are open until 6th March at