362 talented apprentices across Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford will graduate at the inaugural National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 for the south-east region taking place in Kilkenny next week (Mon. 17 October).
Organised by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) for the region, the National Apprenticeship Awards recognise the achievements of apprentices who have completed four years of study and are now driving new career standards of leadership, teamwork, creativity and problem-solving in their sectors.
The 362 graduates will mark the completion of 21 different apprenticeships from five industry sectors: engineering; electrical; motor; construction; hospitality and food. The ceremony will be the first to include commis chef apprenticeship graduates, following its introduction by KCETB in 2016. The graduate chefs are: Garret Brennan (Avalon House Hotel, Co. Kilkenny); Cormac Donal Keane (Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Carlow); Stuart Dunne Maher (Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny); Peter Thorpe (Talbot Hotel, Wexford); Hannah McCann (Ballinahinch Castle, Co. Galway) and Michael Gaule (Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare). The executive head chef at Kelly’s Hotel, Eugene Callaghan, will be a guest speaker at the Awards in recognition of the milestone.
The National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 will also recognise the first Phase 2 electrical apprentices from the south-east region who commenced training in 2018 in the very first Kilkenny-based course.
Commenting on the National Apprenticeship Awards 2022, Mary Prior Butler, who is head of training services at KCETB, said, “Apprenticeships form the basis of an exciting career choice for school leavers. Combining hands-on, practical workplace training with learning in a further education and training (FET) centre, they provide huge opportunites for those who want to learn and work concurrently.”
“KCETB is delighted to host the National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 on behalf of ETBs in the region. This prestigious ceremony highlights the excellence, hard work and resilience shown by the recipient apprentices, particularly in light of the significant challenges and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”, she added.
Two female apprentices will graduate at next week’s ceremony. Nationally, the number of female apprentices has grown from 26 in 2015 to 1,500 in 2022.
Over 8,400 employers across 16 industry sectors in Ireland are now using apprenticeships to attract and grow their talent, drawing on school leavers, careers changers, and attracting a broad range of people from diverse backgrounds and abilities.
“We are delighted that the National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony can take place in person this year to recognise the tremendous achievements of so many apprentices who have completed their training in a range of disciplines and whose skills are so valuable to our economic progress”, said Eileen Curtis, Chief Executive KCETB.
The National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 will be attended by Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Malcolm Noonan, TD; Mattie McGrath, TD; Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, TD; Kathleen Funchion,, TD and Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Cllr John O’Leary, amongst others.
Caption: Pictured are graduand apprentices Garret Brennan, Sous Chef at Avalon House Hotel, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny; Keith Hickey, Toolmaker with Carlow Toolmaking Services, Pollerton, Carlow and Joanne Cooney, Electrician with Excel Engineering, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. They are amongst 362 talented apprentices across Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford who will graduate at the inaugural National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 for the south-east region taking place in Kilkenny on Monday 17 October.