Apprenticeship success in Northern Ireland

,  11 March 2016

What are the benefits of taking on apprentices? Find out in this video featuring Sean Pagel, director of Production Services Ireland (PSI), and apprentice Edward Horne. PSI were successful recipients of Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme funding.

Sean Pagel, director

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme funding has been key.

"I’m Sean Pagel – I’m one of the directors of Production Services Ireland (PSI). We look after lighting and rigging requirements for the entertainment industry.

"A number of years ago we recognised the problem that we didn’t have enough crew. We really needed to start taking people on, training them up to do what we do, and we felt that to do that through an apprenticeship-type scheme was the best way to get the talent that we needed."

Edward Horner, apprentice

"I am Edward Horner. My role here is an apprentice in technical theatre and in lighting. When I was here for work experience I really enjoyed it and I wanted to do more of it, but I wanted to properly learn everything.

The advantage of doing an apprenticeship is you’re learning. It’s not just a job – at the end of it you will have a qualification."

Sean Pagel, director

You are ending up with people who you’ve taught yourself... and who are going to stand by your business.

"The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme funding has been key to taking on apprentices as well. I think it’s something that will help a lot more organisations who may be put off initially at the thought of having to take on extra employees. It gives us the natural framework to work towards and it gives the apprentices themselves targets that they have to reach.

"Taking on an apprentice is not the easy option. But the advantages to taking on an apprentice are that we are able to train them to a standard that we want them to reach."

Edward Horner, apprentice

"Before the apprenticeship I didn’t have any experience. By the end of the second year of the apprenticeship, I’d like to be able to do everything.

"Knowing that when you go to a gig and you do your lights at that gig and you leave... it’s the satisfaction of going: I did that."

Sean Pagel, director

"If any other organisations are considering taking on an apprentice I would certainly encourage them to go ahead and do it. The rewards are there. You are ending up with people who you’ve taught yourself, who have learned the way you do things, and who are going to stand by your business."

Find out more about funding to take on an apprentice or paid intern through the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme.

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