Course basket

Your basket is empty.
Website search function


Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning is the term that is used to refer to courses, such as Apprenticeships, that provide you with real-life work experiences whilst applying academic and technical skills to enhance your employment opportunities.


Apprentices are employed as full-time members of staff and typically work for an employer three to four days a week. One or two days a week is spent at college, studying for nationally-recognised qualifications in the same profession as the apprenticeship.

  • Apprentices must find their employer.  Check out some tips on how to find an employer below.
  • Some employers may require GCSEs on entry
  • It might be possible to do an apprenticeship with a current employer
  • Apprentices work all year round, but their college classes run from September to July
  • Employers pay for the day the apprentice is in college, meaning they receive a full-time wage in accordance with the national minimum wage

Details and restrictions

  • Apprentices must be aged 16 or above. Restrictions apply for those over 25.
  • Employers must be based in Northern Ireland
  • Apprenticeships are part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department for the Economy (DfE).
  • Applications will be progressed according to the College's Admissions Policy. For high demand courses, the following additional criteria may be applied:
    Enhanced grades criteria:
    -  Applicants with higher grades may be given priority.
    -  Previous students of the College or a student from a partner school may be given priority.

Around 600 apprentices train with Northern Regional College every year and we’re expanding to include a broader range of professions. Apprenticeships are a popular way to learn skills, get qualifications and kick start a career.  

Browse our Apprenticeship and Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes below:

Tips on How to Secure an Employer

Gaining an apprenticeship is one of the best career moves that you can make. You will gain valuable skills and qualifications and get paid while you are training. BUT you cannot start your apprenticeship unless you have secured a suitable full-time employer. 

To make things easier, here are a few useful tips to assist you in your quest for an apprenticeship or work placement:

  • Consider working with a suitable employer over the summer months to give you a better insight into the industry in which you are thinking of a career.
  • Remember to check that you are adequately covered by the employer’s insurance and that you have also received suitable Health and Safety training.
  • Get on the phone, email or arrange to meet with as many local companies/employers as you can. Remember to have an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) ready to hand over, post or email to the employers.
  • Contact your local Careers Service, school careers teacher to get useful information on your chosen career as well as help in preparing your CV. There is a lot of online support to help you as well: www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/careers
  • You can contact the Department for the Economy Careers Service by phone Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on 0300 200 7820.
  • Check for companies advertising apprenticeship opportunities, especially during summer months, in the paper or online e.g. Facebook. Here is a list of useful websites to help with your search:
    www.yell.com – useful for all types of employers
    www.thomsonlocal.com – useful for all types of employers
    www.trustmark.org.uk  – useful for all trades
    www.ratedpeople.com – useful for all trades
    www.gumtree.com – useful for joiners
    www.aphc.co.uk – useful for plumbers
    www.needaplumber.org – useful for plumbers
    www.niceic.com – useful for electricians
    www.eca.co.uk – useful for electricians

Document Downloads

Employer Details Form

Vision Verification Form (Electrical Installation AppNI only)

For further information please contact:
Sean McAleese, Training Manager
07554 118467

EU European Social Fund NI logo Department for the Economy logo