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'I WOULD 100% RECOMMEND A HIGHER LEVEL APPRENTICESHIP' - says hotel manager ahead of HLA information event

02 May 2023
Man and woman pictured outside hotel holding a sign advertising the HLA event at NWRC on May 10.

A hotel manager who studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at North West Regional College (NWRC) says he would thoroughly recommend the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) pathway for students.

Gary Peoples, whose first job was as a plasterer, studied a HLA at Strand Road campus. He’s now the Operations Manager of the City Hotel in Derry~Londonderry, a job he says he loves, and he’s urging anyone thinking about returning to study to take the plunge and attend an information event on HLAs at NWRC on May 10.

The event is open to the public but is of particular interest to graduates looking to upskill, students completing A-Levels or other Level 3 qualifications, or local employers looking to hire the best of local talent.

Gary said: “I started in the City Hotel as Concierge, moved on to Conference and Banqueting Supervisor and then Duty Manager.

“The City Hotel very much encouraged me to do the HLA and I learned so many skills that I still use now.

“During the course we were encouraged to make a ten year plan and set ourselves goals. My goal was to become Operations Manager and I’ve achieved that.

“Anyone thinking about returning to education has nothing to worry about. I would 100% recommend the HLA process.”

Helen McGonigal, Skills Development Officer at NWRC said the information evening on May 10 will give members of the public the opportunity to see the HLA courses on offer, as well as meet with prospective employers.

She added: “Higher Level Apprenticeships have huge benefits. With a HLA qualification, you can jointly study and work in paid employment in your chosen profession. The courses are fully funded by the Department for the Economy so students never have to worry about tuition fees.

“Previous students have told us they chose the HLA because of the benefits such as studying locally and the many employment opportunities available.

“You'll immediately enter the world of work, make industry contacts, and gain valuable on-the-job experience while earning money as you study. Our apprentices focus on training for a specific career and learn the trade by doing the job.”

NWRC offers HLA courses in Accountancy, Business & Enterprise, Software Development, Leadership for Children’s care, Learning and Development, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Advanced Technician in Engineering – General Engineering, Advanced Technician in Engineering - Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Modern Construction with Renewables, and FinTech.

The information event on May 10 at NWRC will run from 3-5 p.m. and you can book your free ticket here:

Or for more information contact

Information flyer for HLA event

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