Vocational education and training has had a long history in the education system in Northern Ireland, helping individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career. European Vocational Skills Week 2022 takes place from 16-20 May 2022 to celebrate the benefits of what vocational education has to offer. SWC has many inspiring examples of students who have enriched and transformed their lives as a result of their vocational education and training qualification.

For anyone considering a career in the Motor Vehicle industry, the facilities, training and industry collaborations on offer at South West College are currently providing the perfect starting point.

The Auto Electrics Apprenticeship program, which South West College was the first to offer, is one such opportunity. The first cohort of students studying this programme have recently completed Level 2 and progressed to study Level 3, with new students now also starting their journey on the course.

Tutor Niall McElchar says, “Level 2 was the first step for a group of students who wanted to enter auto electrical engineering with views to a future career in the industry. Now they’ve progressed to Level 3, which is a step up in theory and skill-based learning. As apprentices, the students are with us one day a week and with their employers four days a week. With the training they’re receiving with us and the experience they’re getting in real world employment their progress is evident week by week.”

Harley McKenna, from Emyvale and employed with Peter McKenna Motors, says the journey to Omagh once a week has been worth it for the invaluable training and experience on offer.

Harley said: “I visited an Open Day at South West College after representatives of the college had visited my school and told us about apprenticeships. I always knew I wanted to work with cars and I’m glad I made the decision to study here to get into the industry. South West College has provided a very easy environment to come into and the travelling has definitely been worth it. I wanted to get straight into the working world and the balance of working in the industry while also learning theory in the classroom has been brilliant.”

South West College’s Automotive training is built on industry experienced tutors and state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Automotive Workshop on the Gortin Road, Omagh, which features the latest Diagnostic and mechanical equipment available within the Motor Vehicle Industry, including machinery for EBS braking, active suspension systems, ADAS steering systems and engine horse power testing.

To find out more about Automotive Courses at South West College, please visit: www.swc.ac.uk/learn/vehicle-maintenance or come along to SWCs annual Motor Vehicle Open Evening at their industry-standard motor vehicle workshop at Gortin Road, Omagh, on Tuesday 24th May 2022, from 3 pm – 8 pm. To register your attendance, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/336555666057

Vocational Education