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Part time study at Northern Regional College offers greater flexibility


Group of male students standing in front of presentation screen

Part-time study not only offers greater flexibility but can help your confidence and boost your employment prospects, according to a Northern Regional College student. Belfast man Gregory Millar is in the second and final year of a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment at Northern Regional College in Ballymena. He is currently employed by Radius Housing as a Trainee Asset Officer, a role which involves ensuring that the Radius buildings are suitably maintained.

Gregory previously completed a Level 3 qualification in Welding and Fabrication but having worked with McAvoy, one of the market leaders in the manufacture and delivery of modular buildings in Northern Ireland, felt he needed additional qualifications to improve his employability. 

The HNC provides students with an opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised Level 4 qualification while developing a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the construction and the built environment sector. It is suitable for those already employed within the industry, as well as those hoping to pursue a career within the construction sector.

While he enjoyed all the subjects taught, Gregory particularly enjoyed learning about modular buildings. His previous employment with the McAvoy Group gave him a head start as he already had a good knowledge of the subject.

Although he lives in Belfast, Gregory is doing the HNC at Northern Regional College in Ballymena because it was the only college where he could do the HNC in Construction and the Built Environment as a day release course.

He explained that while it may not have been his first choice, it turned out for the best and he would have no hesitation recommending both the College and the course:

“I’ve previously completed other further education courses but my experience at Northern Regional College has been really positive. The staff are very helpful and support students in all aspects of the course.”

Gregory added that as well as an improved knowledge and understanding of the construction industry and a greater insight into the employment opportunities, one the key skills he developed during his time at the College was his communication skills.

“My public speaking has improved as a result of doing the course. Speaking in public was something I didn’t have to before, but we do regular presentations as part of our coursework and I feel much more confident and competent now.”