Transport Training Services (TTS) was proud host to the Department for the Economy (DfE) on Thursday 7th September, where All Age Apprenticeships were formally announced. The new initiative expands DfE funded apprenticeships to those aged 25 and over (previously apprenticeships under the DfE ApprenticeshipsNI scheme were limited to those aged 16 to 24). TTS expects the new initiative to revolutionise the apprenticeship landscape for the transport and logistics sector by providing employers with new ways to develop talent, both from within their existing workforces and from wider labour market.
All Age Apprenticeships present a unique opportunity for transport sector employers to invest in the professional development of their existing workforce. Although TTS is best known for its technical apprenticeships such as vehicle technician and body repair programmes, the social enterprise also delivers a range of team leading, management, customer service, warehousing / supply chain and parts / aftersales advisor apprenticeships. These DfE funded programmes are prime for upskilling existing employees who previously weren’t eligible for apprenticeships due to their age.
All Age Apprenticeships can support transport operators facing shortages of LGV drivers by providing a cost-effective training scheme. Historically the LGV driver apprenticeship was stifled by the age cap of 24 due to the difficulties associated with insuring younger drivers, but with the age restrictions lifted, employers can now tap into a new funded training to ensure a steady pipeline of skilled LGV drivers for the future.
At the launch event, the DfE’s Head of Skills and Education, Moira Doherty, explained “[An All Age Apprenticeship] provides a powerful lever for inclusion as it gives opportunities for people to re-enter the workforce or change career who might have thought an apprenticeship was no longer an option.”
TTS has long been a champion of getting more females into transport and logistics careers, particularly through its ‘Women in Wheels NI’ initiative, and believes that All Age Apprenticeships can support women – mothers returning to work specifically – to acquire new skills and embark on fulfilling careers.
Speaking at the launch event, Michael Strain, CEO of TTS, said:
“TTS welcomes the department’s decision to launch All Age Apprenticeships and recognises the opportunities this presents for people to upskill or reskill into a rewarding career in the automotive, transportation and logistics industries that we currently work in. This now means that apprenticeships in the transport sector are no longer just for school leavers. The launch of All Age Apprenticeships opens up funded training for all across our industry, creating a win-win scenario for the employer, employee and the economy. We look forward to delivering apprenticeships to people of all ages across Northern Ireland in the coming months and years.”
To find out more about any TTS apprenticeship, please contact Robert Deignan, Careers Development Officer, on tel 028 9082 5653 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.