In light of recent developments regarding Bombardier, NUS-USI President Olivia Potter-Hughes has expressed solidarity with staff, the trade union Unite, and she emphasised the need to protect the apprenticeship places there. NUS-USI and the National Society of Apprentices in Northern Ireland have been visiting FE campuses across Northern Ireland this week and have met with over 250 apprentices during the week to discuss issues that affect them.
NUS-USI President Olivia Potter-Hughes said “These are the flagship apprenticeships in Northern Ireland. They are the gold standard apprenticeships and are a key economic driver for the region.
“If we lose that then we will be almost accepting that this kind of high wage, high value apprenticeship is not feasible in Northern Ireland, and that would not be acceptable. Young people in Belfast deserve apprenticeships that contain great training, are well paid and provide real opportunities.
“Apprentices, staff and people’s livelihoods must be put ahead of international market disagreements.
“I hope that this is not a taste of things to come under Brexit.
“There are already too few apprenticeships in Northern Ireland, and if the Bombardier apprenticeships were placed in jeopardy, this would be nothing short of disastrous for Northern Ireland’s economic future. Bombardier, and its supply chain, keeps talented skilled young people in Belfast. We simply cannot afford to lose this.”