Tyrone Apprentices Taste Success At Awards

Josh Mens, an apprentice design engineer from Dungannon, has been crowned Apprentice of the Year 2013.
Josh, 18, who is doing an apprenticeship at South West College, Dungannon, was praised for his skills and talent which have impressed the judges and his employers at Kiverco Recycling Systems Limited which designs and manufactures recycling plants which are then transported and installed across the world.
The awards ceremony, organised by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), was held in Belfast’s Holiday Inn and was hosted by TV presenter Claire McCollum.
Congratulating the winners, DEL’s permanent secretary Alan Shannon said, “This event is testimony to the skills and talent Northern Ireland has to offer. Apprenticeships play a vital role in ensuring that we have a better skilled, modern and dynamic workforce to drive our economy forward. I wish Josh, the Apprentice of the Year 2013, and all the other winners and finalists continued success in their chosen careers.”
Anne McKeever, from Dungannon firm Kiverco Limited, said, “Josh’s engineering ability has been clearly noticed by his employers and, as a result, he has benefited from advanced CAD training courses. Josh’s passion for engineering, coupled with his ability to learn quickly and retain new ideas, clearly demonstrates he is fully deserving of this accolade.”
Meanwhile, Bridgeen McHugh from Castlederg also had her achievement recognised at the prestigious Apprentice of the Year Awards where she was a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category.
Bridgeen, 31, is following an apprenticeship in pharmacy service skills at Derry Youth and Community Workshop in Derry and is employed by Donaghy’s Chemist in Castlederg.
Speaking about her success, Bridgeen said, “I feel that I have gained so much from completing the Level 2 Pharmacy Apprenticeship programme. My knowledge and understanding of the areas covered in pharmacy have greatly increased.
“I can now transfer the skills I have gained directly into my working environment to benefit our customers and patients needs. It has also allowed me to progress and develop in my role allowing me to research and investigate other services that we as a company can offer and improve on.
“Specifically I have found that improving my customer service skills and medicines knowledge allows us to deliver a more comprehensive and patient focused minor ailments service to all our patients.”
Mary Donaghy from Donaghy’s Chemist in Castlederg said, “Bridgeen came to work for me from school with no real work experience either in a retail or a pharmacy setting nor any relevant qualifications.
“She had progressed over the years from working as a retail assistant, then helping out in the pharmacy and eventually progressed to working as a dispensary assistant with responsibilities for organising front of shop and the Minor Ailments Service. This progression has definitely been aided by Bridgeen having completed the Level 2 Pharmacy Services Apprenticeship NI programme.
“The Apprenticeship has been very beneficial to the business and came at an opportune time giving Bridgeen the incentive to take another step towards improving her skills.”
Source: ulsterherald.com