Apprenticeships vital to the future workplace, say leading businesses ahead of virtual event

Published: January 26, 2021

Allstate NI, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills are set to host a virtual event on 'Understanding Apprenticeships', the third instalment in the 'Your Child, Their Future' series.

As global businesses spearheading developments in digital and professional services with significant workforces in Northern Ireland, the firms believe apprenticeships are fast becoming the best route into satisfying, well-paid jobs.

A Your child ,their future, understanding apprenticeships.

Once favoured by those set on trades such as construction or plumbing, the apprenticeship model is gaining popularity as a reliable source of fresh talent across all sectors.

As global leaders that employ in excess of 4,000 people in Northern Ireland, Allstate NI, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills believe apprentices can re-energise the workforce and fill vacancies in burgeoning sectors like FinTech, Data Analytics, Assurance and Legal Services.

School leavers would be forgiven for thinking they are entering a bleak job market as the pandemic rumbles on and redundancies set in. But according to these industry leaders, a bright and prosperous career is on the horizon for those who choose the vocational route.

Hosted by Sarah Travers, a former BBC news journalist and familiar face to many in Northern Ireland, the free online event will feature three field experts, who are parents themselves, to platform a diverse range of opinions on Wednesday 3 February.

Speakers will include:

  • Richard Kirk, Workplus
  • Maria Curran, Mid Ulster Mega
  • Eamonn Brankin, Belfast Met

Rather than a lecture or recruitment fair, it will foster a positive and constructive conversation between parents and those working hard on the apprenticeship agenda about its merits in launching a fruitful career. In line with the upcoming Northern Ireland Skills Strategy, vocational qualifications offer a direct mechanism to fill skills gaps as we shift toward a more green and digital society. Gone are the days of academia being the only route to skilled or semi-skilled jobs.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Richard Kirk, CEO & Founder of Workplus said:

"I am thrilled to be involved in this progressive event to promote the concept of apprenticeships with parents and young people."

"Allstate NI, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills have put their brightest heads together to continue the ‘Your Child, Their Future’ series with an event centred on exactly what our workforce needs: talented young people who can shape our organisations for the future."

"As society begins to emerge from the uncertainty of Covid-19, apprenticeships are good news for everyone involved; employers, young people and the economy."

To register for this event please visit: