The Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards recognise apprentices, their mentors, employers and training organisations who have demonstrated exceptional progress as well as personal achievement and commitment and will culminate in a special awards ceremony on 27 March 2024.

Moira Doherty, Head of Skills and Education at the Department for the Economy, said:

“Apprenticeships are an excellent way to develop talent and offer real benefits to both the individual and the employer. The Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2024 are a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the depth and quality of our apprentices, their employers and training providers.

“These awards are a way of celebrating the essential role apprenticeships play in our economic development and the 10X Economic Vision. Apprenticeships are integral to this vision, as they provide a way for people of all ages to gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

“We are lucky to have so many great apprentices who are supported by fantastic employers, mentors and training providers. I encourage them all to get involved in the competition. Their story could inspire others to consider an apprenticeship, start the path to a successful career and help to build a stronger economy for Northern Ireland.”

Professor Jonathan Heggarty MBE, Principal and CEO of Stranmillis University College, and one of this year’s judging panel, said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to be a judge again at this year's NI Apprenticeship Awards. Apprenticeships and Higher Level Apprenticeships continue to increase in popularity as they offer apprentices a fantastic opportunity to develop both skills and knowledge as part of their career journey.

“Best of luck to all who enter, and I very much look forward to meeting and speaking to all our finalists.”

There are seven award categories for 2024:

  • Apprentice Award (Levels 2-3);
  • Higher Level Apprentice Award (Level 4+);
  • Large Employer in partnership with their Training Provider Award (employers with 250 employees and over);
  • Small to Medium Enterprise in partnership with their Training Provider Award (employers with fewer than 250 employees);
  • Mentor Award;
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award; and, new for 2024,
  • Public Sector Apprentice Award.

Applications for the awards are now open. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 27 October 2023.

More information, including full details on application criteria for each of the awards, along with how to apply, can be obtained from the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards page on the DfE website.