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Radius Housing, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Construction Industry Training Board NI team up for Apprenticeship Week event at Ballymena Academy

25 Feb 2022

Press Release 25/2/22

Radius Housing, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) and Construction Industry Training Board, Northern Ireland (CITB NI) teamed up on 8th February to deliver an ‘Apprenticeship Week’ event to over 200 pupils at Ballymena Academy.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, and it brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 was 'build the future'; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and for businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

This event was also part of the St Patrick’s Barracks Site Good Relations Plan which will be designed and delivered in partnership with the Radius Housing Ballymena Advisory Group.  The Good Relations Plan seeks to build positive relationships and sustainable communities through good relations projects and events over a five-year period..  The site is being developed as part of the Department for Communities and Housing Executive’ Shared Housing Programme; ‘Housing for All’.

Pupils from years 12, 13 and 14 were able to gain vital information about the benefits and opportunities presented by completing an Apprenticeship in NI. Presentations were also delivered on the new Council development at the St Patrick’s Site, including an Innovation Hub, Civic Offices and an event space which will be completed by 2026.  Frank McGrogan, Strategic Project Officer, MEABC delivered a 3D virtual animation of what the site will look like and advised pupils that the development will bring future employment opportunities in the near future.

Brigid McGuigan, representing Radius Housing, discussed the exciting opportunities that the 136 home Radius development would bring. She stated that the development of the site would contribute to the wider regeneration of the area through the provision of high-quality housing, a play park and a new road infrastructure.

The redeveloped site will provide training, employment, and investment opportunities as the appointed contractor will be required to comply with Radius Housing’s Buy Social Contract; bringing opportunities for young people including 1092 new entrant trainee weeks providing paid employment and 42 weeks of work experience, vital to skill up and have experience on site. The Buy Social Contract will also see sponsorship of community projects and meet the buyer events.

The event was closed by Mark Walker and Paul Gordon of Northern Regional College. Mark, Curriculum Area Manager for Building, Construction & Renewables at Northern Regional College, advised how young people can access apprenticeship courses at the college.  Paul, an electrical Installation apprentice, who returned to college to complete a Higher Education  course in construction, talked to pupils about his positive experience and the flexibility of apprenticeships that offer the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn.’

Radius Housing were delighted to partner with MEABC and CITB NI for this event and look forward to working in partnership with them going forward.

Grainne Mullin, Community Investment Manager at Radius Housing, stated:

“Radius Housing are exciting to bring these opportunities to Ballymena alongside the development of 136 new homes on the St Patrick’s Site. She stated that the team were looking forward to working alongside stakeholders from across Ballymena in the development of the site’s Good Relations Plan, including MEABC and CITB NI. She concluded, we were delighted to work with over 200 pupils today and thank Ballymena Academy for hosting the event for Apprenticeship Week.”

Barry Neilson, Chief Executive, CITB NI said of the event:

“CITB NI are delighted to be taking part in NI Apprenticeship Week 2022, supporting events and promoting construction apprenticeships. Apprentices at all levels are a vital component to helping the construction industry develop and grow. Offering young people apprenticeships gives businesses the chance to play an active role in moulding their future workforce and creating the future skills that they need to help their businesses develop.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councilor William McCaughey, said:

“Mid & East Antrim Borough Council are delighted to have coordinated a series of events promoting the wide variety of apprenticeships available across a wide range of sectors as part of this year’s NI Apprenticeship Week. Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for young people who wish to earn while they learn, providing invaluable ‘on the job’ experience and recognised qualifications. We are excited by the training and employment opportunities that will be created over the next four years thanks to the redevelopment of the former St. Patrick’s Barracks site and are grateful to Radius Housing, the Construction Industry Training Board and Northern Regional College for their support in highlighting these opportunities to the students at Ballymena Academy.” 

This programme is supported through the Department for Communities and Housing Executive’s’ ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme, which has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy. The Department for Communities has invested £13,142,433 in the St Patrick’s Barracks Site Shared Housing Development. 

Radius has shared housing developments across Northern Ireland. Inclusive Bridging events in the wider community encourage a range of good relations outcomes which involve Health & Wellbeing and Education & Training.



Further Information can be sought from

You can find more information on Shared Housing at  Department for Communities - Shared Housing Programme