Professional Cookery. Sean Owens’ journey to qualification

Sean Owens who is studying Professional Cookery with People 1st in Derry and working at Browns in Town

Meet Sean, our North-West apprentice who is studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery, and has been working at Browns In Town, Derry who have been great in supporting him with his learning and development. Sean worked in computers but knew that his passion lay in cooking and coming across People 1st via his part-time employer, meant that he was an ideal candidate to take part in the ApprenticeshipsNI programme

People 1st are always ready to support employers with the Apprenticeships programme, it can be a great way to support staff members and help to foster loyalty to the business by enabling them to get a formal qualification alongside the day to day work experience they are gaining. If you would like to hear more about what opportunities we have available then contact your local People 1st office in the locations section of our website or email us at [email protected].

The Apprenticeships programme offers fully funded training opportunities to people aged 16 to 24, and employer funded options to those who are 25 years and over. There is a limited amount of funding available if over 25, but best to contact us so we can discuss your individual needs, and see if it applies to your circumstances . As an apprentice you’ll be an employee in a Northern Ireland-based company. You’ll be working with experienced staff to learn and develop your skills, and People 1st will provide your ‘off the job’ training so that you achieve your full qualification. We’ll meet with you and your employer to discuss your training needs and then will develop a training programme for you. We’ll be with you every step of the way throughout your apprenticeship, to support you and make sure you’re making progress.

To take part in the Apprenticeships programme you need to:

  • have reached the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland (16 years)
  • be employed or be about to take up paid employment in Northern Ireland
  • be working a minimum of 21 hours per week on a permanent contract
  • meet all the entry requirements of your chosen apprenticeship (for example some apprenticeships will require you to have GCSEs)
  • meet a number of eligibility considerations, for example if you are a non-EU national or a public sector employee, or if you have previously achieved a recognised vocational qualification

    There are many benefits for you and your employer when you take part in an apprenticeship
  • you earn while you learn – your employer will pay you just as they would any other employee
  • you work alongside experienced staff
  • you receive paid off-the-job training specific to your apprenticeship
  • you gain qualifications

Watch this fantastic video below of our People 1st NorthWest Apprentice, Sean Owens, who is training with ourselves to be a chef! It really gives an insight into his journey with People 1st, how he loves learning on the Apprenticeships programme and how the employer support he has received has been amazing!! Thanks to apprentice Sean, Dan Carlin from our Northwest team and Derry City & Strabane District Council for showing people out there how an apprenticeship can be life changing in so many ways!!!!!

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