Apprenticeship Employer of the Year nominees announced

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year nominees announced


Nominations are in for the 2021 Generation Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.

The awards showcase the talent and energy of Ireland’s thriving apprenticeship employer sector. The 71 nominees, represent more than 37,000 employees, across three categories: micro companies; small and medium and large enterprises.

Speaking ahead of the awards ceremony which will take place virtually in December, Dr Mary-Liz Trant, Executive Director, SOLAS said “Following a very challenging 20 months for everyone, we look forward to celebrating the resilience and vitality of these companies, and the critical role played by apprenticeship in the social and economic life of the country.”

Three companies have been nominated in the Mid West region. The world renowned Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland has been nominated in the “Large Enterprise” category. The contact lens manufacturer employs a 380 strong workforce, and has embarked on an impressive skills development programme for its 53 apprentices.

Joining them in this category is fellow Limerick based firm Kirby Group Engineering. Founded in 1964, Kirby Group Engineering is a leading mechanical and electrical engineering contractor operating across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe, and directly employing over 1,200 highly-skilled professionals. It is currently training 192 apprentices on site.

Bridget Haren

Lastly, Bridget Haren Hair & Beauty has been nominated in the “Micro Enterprise” category. Despite a challenging period for the personal services sector, the Co. Clare company has continued to thrive. The team of 5 stylists, 3 apprentices, 1 beauty therapist and support staff are brimming with drive, passion and personality. Bridget Haren said:

“I’m thrilled with this nomination. My passion for hairdressing has always been fuelled by continual learning and I love to be able to pass on this ethos to the three amazing apprentices in our salon. All of the team are enthusiastic about assisting in the work-based training for our apprentices so this nomination is a credit to my staff.”

Warmly congratulating the nominees Joe Leddin, Mid West Regional Skills Forum Manager, said: “Well done to all the nominees. Business development is a continuous process and in each of these companies we see the ongoing contribution of apprenticeship pathways in building value and nourishing skills.”