CNC Academy launched to support aerospace sector

Robert Hutchinson, ADS NI Business Development Manager, Ann Williamson Head of Employer Skills for the Department for the Economy, Clare O'Neill, Head of Business Development at Northern Regional College and Gordon Kane, Section Head, Northern Regional College at the launch of the CNC Academy
Robert Hutchinson, ADS NI Business Development Manager, Ann Williamson Head of Employer Skills for the Department for the Economy, Clare O'Neill, Head of Business Development at Northern Regional College and Gordon Kane, Section Head, Northern Regional College at the launch of the CNC Academy

Northern Regional College has teamed up with ADS Northern Ireland to create an exciting training opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a CNC operator.

Supported by the Department for the Economy’s Assured Skills programme, the nine week Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Academy is designed to give individuals specialist skills and practical experience to prepare them for work in the growing local aerospace, defence and security sector.

The CNC Academy will include five weeks paid specialist training on state of the art equipment at Northern Regional College, Farm Lodge Ballymena Campus followed by a four week placement with companies in Greater Belfast, County Antrim and County Down. Gordon Kane, Head of Section at Northern Regional College said: “The College is committed to working in partnership with the business community and developing programmes relevant to their business needs and requirements. The CNC Academy is the latest in a series of intensive training programmes the College has developed with individual companies to help them recruit the skilled workforce they need.”

Entry requirements for the CNC Academy include four GCSEs or one year relevant industrial experience.

Speaking at the launch of the CNC Academy at the College’s Farm Lodge campus in Ballymena,Robert Hutchinson, ADS NI Business Development Manager, said members had identified a need for specialist CNC training.

He explained that while many are SMEs, they are critical for the supply chain for bigger companies like Bombardier and that the pre-employment training provided by the Academy will give individuals the skills needed to prepare them for work as CNC operators in the sector.

He said: “Through collaboration with Northern Regional College sector and government support, we can help ensure our member organisations have access to the talent they need to grow. This Academy will help support local companies by equipping individuals with the skills they need for in-demand Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operators.”

Ann Williamson Head of Employer Skills for the Department said: “The CNC Academy will help participants to build their confidence, learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. The Department continues to work with local companies and industry to help employers access the skilled staff needed to expand their business and boost the local economy.”

Academy participants will receive £150 weekly training allowance. Further information on the CNC Academy including entry criteria and details on how to apply can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/assured-skills. Closing date for applications is Tuesday, August 28. Applicants must be over 18.