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Calling all young innovators in Mid and East Antrim!

The second annual Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week will take place from 26 to 30 April 2021.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) are working with the Department for Economy and a range of partners to promote the benefits of becoming an apprentice and showcase how apprenticeships can work to strengthen and grow our local business base and the wider economy.

Now in its second year, Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2021 offers a dedicated week of dedicated events and promotional activity to demonstrate how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

As part of this year’s events, MEABC are working with the Royal Academy of Engineering, WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), MATRIX NI, Manufacturing NI, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to bring the Energy Innovation Challenge to local schools and promote the varied career paths available in manufacturing and engineering.

Council are inviting young people to become engineers and entrepreneurs to develop ideas that could change our world for the better.

The Energy Innovation Challenge asks young people to explore ideas that could improve lives in our community and have the chance to win a 3D Printer and other goodies for their school!

The winning innovations should demonstrate awareness of the environment and could be solutions that benefit lives and wellbeing of people around the world. They will incorporate a green energy element to show the positive impact this innovation will have for others.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, encouraged budding young innovators to get involved in the competition.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young innovators to use their talent and drive to create solutions that could have potentially life changing benefits for others.

“The ‘green economy’ of the future is a key strategy not only for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, but for Northern Ireland as a whole, and I would encourage all our local schools and colleges to get creating and enter the Energy Innovation Challenge as part of Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2021.

“Council will be involved in highlighting the importance of apprenticeships and innovation, and promoting the careers of the future and local opportunities, throughout this week, and I fully support them and their partner organisations in those efforts.”

Gillian Gregg, Senior Business Development Manager Northern Ireland, Royal Academy of Engineering is delighted to work with partners on the Green Innovation Challenge.

“Engineering shapes our world for the better, whether that’s by making our day-to-day lives easier or tackling some of our biggest global challenges", he said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Academy to work with the local Councils and Manufacturing NI to encourage students and teachers to explore the essential role of the engineer, both in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, to make a difference to our environment and help build a sustainable future.”

Mary Meehan, Deputy CEO of Manufacturing NI said:

“Manufacturing NI is delighted to be a partner on the Energy Innovation Challenge which allows us to engage with local schools to continue to grow talent and promote the exciting pathways into manufacturing”.

The competition is open to primary and secondary schools in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council areas, with the closing date 28 May 2021.

The winning schools in each council area will receive a 3D printer with individual pupil prizes available for the winning entrants.

Information on how to enter will be sent directly to each school. For further details please contact: