Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative steered by the European Commission. The originator of the pledge is solely responsible for implementing the actions outlined in the pledge.

Author:Northern Regional College
Country:United Kingdom
Start Year:2018

Irvine Abraham, College Internationalisation Manager, irvine.abraham@nrc.ac.uk

Types of organisation:Education and training providers

The Northern Regional College is the largest provider of Apprenticeship training in the north east region of Northern Ireland, UK.  Annually the college engages with 750+ employers to develop and deliver a work-based apprenticeship programme for 1000+ apprentices in a range of vocational areas including engineering, construction, hospitality, tourism, ICT, motor vehicle, heavy vehicle and hair and beauty.  Work-based learning enrolment represents 20% of all full time learners and is therefore a significant element within the college curriculum delivery.

As part of our internationalisation strategy we seek to develop new international mobility opportunities for apprenticeships. Membership of the EAfA provides an additional opportunity to exchange good practices and expand our network by making contact with other international EAfA members.


Northern Regional College will be an outstanding provider of training and further and higher education, focused on the needs of the modern economy.


Northern Regional College will provide students with a life-changing, supportive and innovative experience, which will equip them with the skills to compete successfully in the global employment market and meet the needs of local industry and employers


·         To improve apprenticeship learning and staff teaching experience

·         To increase the number and type of apprenticeships annually

·         To increase the mobility opportunities for apprentices

·         To contribute to wider economic development of the region

Types of Apprenticeships

Since 2007, the primary focus for apprenticeship programmes (NQF Level 3) was engineering, motor vehicle and construction. In 2016, the college sought to expand its apprenticeship provision to include Higher Level Apprenticeships (NQF level 4-5) and introduced new HLA programmes in Advanced Manufacturing and Accountancy both of which have proved successful with significant employer support.  In 2018, the college sought to expand its (NQF Level 3) apprenticeship provision to include non-traditional areas in hospitality, tourism, ICT and hair and beauty, with limited take-up at this stage.  NRC is keen to develop relationships through EAfA to learn from others and share best practice in developing apprenticeship models.    

Key Activities

·         Develop new/additional Career Academy programmes

·         Contract with new/additional employers thereby increasing the number of apprenticeship places on offer

·         Develop new/additional progression pathways from Apprenticeships to Higher Level Apprenticeships

·         Introduce international mobility as an option within apprenticeship programmes

·         Participate in EAfA apprenticeship awards competitions

Short company / organisation description:

Located in Northern Ireland, UK the Northern Regional College is a provider of Further and Higher Education in the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector for 20,000 learners’ annually including 1,000 apprenticeships.

Area of action: Supply
Area of action: Quality
Area of action: Image
Area of action: Mobility

·         700+ local SME employers

·         International partners through KA2 Strategic Partnerships and KA1 mobility work placements

·         Sector Skills Bodies

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