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      Thursday 14 Feb 2013

      George Best Belfast City Airport has announced an Apprenticeship Scheme for young people in the greater Belfast area.

      Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) Minister, Dr Stephen Farry and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson, launched the ‘George Best Belfast City Airport High Fliers Apprenticeship Scheme’ at the airport today.
      The programme will offer ten participants the opportunity to gain expertise and skills in a vast range of disciplines including Human Resources, Customer Service, Hospitality, Catering and Retail.

      Michelle Hatfield, Director of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility at Belfast City Airport said:

      “The latest figures from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) show that there are approximately 22,000 young people currently unemployed in Northern Ireland. I am delighted, and very proud, that the airport is fortunate to be in a position to make a significant contribution to reduce youth employment.

      “The placements will provide up to 2 years of work experience for young people between the ages of 16-24. These will be supported by training workshops at the airport where advice and support will be given in the areas of CV writing, job application writing and interview skills.

      “The airport, which is already one of the biggest employers in Belfast, has been providing work experience initiatives within our Corporate Responsibility progamme for many years now.

      “Our ‘High Fliers Apprenticeship Scheme’ is another step to ensure our programme of responsibility will continue to reflect and support current social needs.”

      The ‘George Best Belfast City Airport High Fliers Apprenticeship Scheme’ will provide the apprentices with a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the opportunity to continue study or seek employment.

      Speaking at the launch, the Minister, said,

      “I commend George Best Belfast City Airport High Fliers scheme which has created opportunities for young people to gain valuable work experience. In this current economic climate, it is important we continue to invest in the skills training of our young people.

      “This week, I announced a review of the apprenticeship and youth training programmes. My aim is to build upon and enhance existing strong provision, ensuring that Northern Ireland has a system of apprenticeship and youth training that is the ‘gold standard.’"

      The 'Belfast City Airport High Fliers Apprenticeship Scheme' was also welcomed by Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson. He said:

      "I am confident this Belfast City Airport initiative will have a lasting contribution to the future workforce in East Belfast and the city as a whole.

      "Work based learning, is not only a great opportunity for young people, but it also provides the employers taking part with fresh talent, energy and ideas."

      Apprentice, Cliodhna Kelly said,

      “Since starting my apprenticeship in November 2012, I have worked in the area of Business Administration directly with George Best Belfast City Airport.

      “The scheme has provided me with all the support and experience I need to achieve my NVQ in Business Administration which I am currently carrying out with Workforce Training.

      “Working at the airport, I report directly to the senior HR Director and on a daily basis I am responsible for anything from mail distribution to dealing with recruitment requests, maintenance of an online data base and helping with the induction of other work placement students.

      “The airport is such a fascinating place to work as there is so much happening both landside and airside.

      “The staff have been amazing mentors and are keen to see me do well. I look forward to completing my NVQ this year and to starting a new chapter in my life with my airport experience and my brand new confidence!”