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Economy Minister Diane Dodds today announced a new Assured Skills Academy in welding at Southern Regional College.

The Assured Skills Academy will see 12 successful applicants receive industry-standard welding training during a five-week course at the college’s Portadown campus, followed by two weeks of consolidation training at one of three engineering companies in the local area.

Participants who complete the Academy are guaranteed an interview for a welding position at one of the companies: AJ Power, Craigavon; NC Engineering, Hamiltonsbawn; and SFM Engineering, Keady.

Highlighting the opportunity, the Minister said: “I am pleased to announce this Assured Skills Academy with Southern Regional College in welding is open for applications.

“People with welding skills are in high demand in our local engineering and manufacturing sector. This Assured Skills Academy will equip participants with these skills, through an industry-recognised qualification, and position them very strongly to kick-start a new career in welding.”

The Minister added: “With no experience in welding needed, and £155 per week training allowance provided to participants on the Academy, I urge anyone who is interested to apply.”

Participants on the Academy will earn a level 2 City and Guilds Award in MIG Welding Skills on completion of the course.

Brian Doran, Principal and CEO of Southern Regional College, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn the skills they need to start a rewarding career in welding. We are pleased to partner with three local businesses who will provide real-world training and experience to participants on the Academy, with the guarantee of a job interview for those who complete the course.”

Training will be delivered at SRC’s Portadown campus, from Monday 24 May to Friday 25 June. Two weeks’ consolidation training in a working environment will then take place Monday 28 June to Friday 9 July. Training will be full-time, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

All applicants must be at least 18 years old by Monday 24 May 2021 and currently eligible to work in the UK. No experience is needed.

Applications are open now and close at noon on Friday 30 April.