FOLLOWING the news of Wrightbus entering administration, Northern Regional College held a training and course information event at its Farm Lodge campus in Ballymena.
Careers advisers from the College and the Department for the Economy were on hand, along with lecturing staff, to provide advice and guidance on qualifications, skills and courses.
The College has worked closely with Wrightbus for many years and the event highlighted their ongoing support and encouragement for former employees and the wider community at this turbulent time.
Former Wrightbus employees who attended the event were able to discuss their options and receive expert advice on available training programmes from careers staff.
Vincent Taggart, Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning at the College, outlined its plans: “The College has had a long and successful partnership with Wrightbus. We feel it is imperative that we provide as much support to all those affected as possible.
“The college is conducting a training needs analysis to determine courses that are in high demand and we are working as part of a multi-agency approach to deliver a programme of training and qualifications to support people affected by the Wrightbus closure.
“To secure alternative employment, it will be important to have some qualifications. Many of the workers are highly skilled but have no formal qualifications.
“Their skills are transferable, but we need to help formalise these skills by facilitating retraining or upskilling. The College will also be offering Essential Skills training in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT.
“This is an excellent opportunity for anyone without GCSEs to achieve qualifications that are recognised by potential employers as the equivalent of a C grade at GCSE level.”
The College has been working hard to explore all possibilities in the wake of the closure to mitigate the impact on those affected, including running fast track courses.
Nicola Davidson, one of the College’s careers advisers, said: “Everyone here at the College is committed to finding the best option for each individual and providing all the help and support possible.
“There are numerous paths that can be pursued, and we offer a variety of courses for people to upskill or to completely retrain in a new area.”
For further information on the College’s training needs analysis survey, search for Northern Regional College on Facebook or call the Farm Lodge campus on 028 2565 2871.