Wrightbus has announced the recruitment of up to 30 new apprentices in the middle of Northern Ireland’s National Apprenticeship Week (February 7-13).

The manufacturer plans to recruit apprentices in various roles; including electrical, spray painting, welding, coachbuilding, driveline and engineering.

Wrightbus is supporting its apprenticeship recruitment drive with an open evening on Wednesday, 9 February, at its Ballymena factory.  

“We eventually want to have up to 10% of our workforce on an apprenticeship, via our various Engineering & Technology Higher Apprenticeship programmes and our general Apprenticeship NI scheme and this latest recruitment drive will help with that ambition,” said Wrightbus sales and business development director, John McLeister, himself a former apprentice. 

Wrightbus apprentices receive on the job training, working alongside a workforce who act as coaches/mentors, along with a college day release programme.

Work Based Learning Managing at Northern Regional College, which works with Wrightbus apprentices, spokesman, Sean McAleese, added: “Wrightbus has always been a reliable and trusted employer that has worked closely with the College to develop and implement our apprenticeship programmes at Level 2, Level 3 and Higher Level Apprenticeships.

“It is great to see the opportunities that have been provided to young people and existing employees, who have undertaken an apprenticeship with Wrightbus as well as the high-level skills, experience and qualifications they gain.

“We will continue to partner with the company to identify their training requirements and look forward to strengthening the College’s partnership with Wrightbus in the future.”

The National Campaign celebrates the contribution that hundreds of thousands of apprentices make every year to the UK’s economy and encourages more businesses to look to apprenticeships as a solution for recruitment, training and workforce development.

Wrightbus HR Director, Nicola McCloskey, noted: “Our apprentices are an invaluable part of our business and we would like to recognise them and thank them for the hard work and effort they put in.

“They often bring with them new skills and energy and we’re looking forward to adding to the ranks with this latest round of recruitment.”