Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris announced the Generation Apprenticeship Apprentice of the Year this week.

The inaugural Apprentice of the Year Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin, where 500 guests from across the apprenticeship system, including employers, educators, apprentices and their families, gathered to celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements made by Ireland’s 25,000-strong apprentice community.

187 apprentices were nominated from around the country for these awards. Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board were delighted to have 12 apprentices nominated for these prestigious awards from the Craft Butchery, Sales, Hairdressing, Commis Chef and Electrical apprenticeships! Apprentices were nominated by their employer or educational partner, and judged on four essential categories: leadership, teamwork, creativity, and problem solving.

Speaking at the event, Minister Harris said:

“I want to warmly congratulate each nominee this evening on their hard work and commitment to their apprenticeship, and also thank their employers, educators and families for their ongoing support.

“There is a huge amount of motivation and talent on show here this evening, and I look forward to many more years of celebrating success through the Apprentice of the Year awards.”

He added:

“This is a really exciting time for apprenticeships and tonight is a chance to celebrate our apprentices and the businesses who have taken them on. I would encourage anyone to consider an apprenticeship. This is third level education and you can earn as you learn. It is time to get involved and help us build the next generation of apprentices.”

2 of the nominees, Commis Chef Apprentices John Webster, House of Plates, Castlebar and Hairdressing apprentice Kim Kelly, Patrick Gildea Hairdressing were awarded a top finalist prize along with 10 other apprentices across Ireland. A huge congratulations to John, Kim, their mentors and their employers! In addition congratulations to their MSLETB instructors Rory Culkin (Commis Chef instructor), Eileen Buchanan and Marie Morrison (Hairdressing instructor)

Tom Grady, MSLETB CE said;

“Congratulations to all our apprentices who qualified for this award. This award is a great recognition of all the hard work, teamwork and skills displayed each day by our apprentices. Apprenticeship is a pathway into a great career, and a choice that both apprentices and businesses can be very proud of taking. I would also like to congratulate both John and Kim who won the top award!”

Dr. Mary-Liz Trant, director of the National Apprenticeship Office, said:

“It is clear from the many, many talented and dynamic nominees in the first ever Apprentice of the Year Awards tonight that the conversation around apprenticeship is changing. Apprenticeship is a pathway into a great career, and a choice that both apprentices and businesses can be very proud of taking. I’d like to thank all of the apprentices, businesses and families here this evening – and also thank our independent expert judging panel for all their hard work in making some very tough choices.”



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