Young people need to experience a working environment to fully appreciate the application of their studies
My name is David Condell and I’m Operations Director at McAuley Engineering. This year I won a Volunteer of the Year Award for my work as a LAB member and mentor for Career Ready at Northern Regional College. McAuley Engineering also sponsored the 2016 Northern Ireland graduation for Career Ready students.
Why did you decide to get involved with Career Ready?
Like many of the students on the programme I had no experience of industry when I started my career in a placement at NACCO Materials Handling Group in Craigavon.
Throughout my time in NACCO I had various mentors at different levels within the company, all of whom invested time and imparted their knowledge and experience to me. I learned so much during that placement which helped shape my career.
I am very conscious of the positive effect the guidance I received when I started had on my career and I would like to provide that same guidance for the next generation.
What have you gained from being involved?
The realisation that through the Career Ready Programme I have facilitated a real life manufacturing learning experience in the lives of the seven young people we have hosted and mentored at McAuley Engineering. I also feel we have helped many other young people indirectly through being on the LAB and helping arrange activities of the Career Ready programme.
I would recommend working with Career Ready because it is essential in the development of the workforce of the future and it is very rewarding to witness the impact it has on the students.
What impact do you feel you’ve had?
The programme provides an impact as an essential element in the development of the industrial workforce of the future. McAuley Engineering and all other employers require young people joining the workforce to be work ready and understand the essential requirements of employment, such as time keeping, attendance and expected behaviours.
I believe that young people need to experience a working environment to fully appreciate the application of their studies, and for the students experiencing the potential career opportunities on offer gives them a career goal to strive for.
How do you feel to be recognised with this award?
I take it as recognition of the efforts by all at McAuley Engineering and the Career Ready team at Northern Regional College to provide a wonderful vocational learning experience for young people.
I hope that the award also further elevates and promotes the Career Ready programme in Industry generally, encouraging more employers to get involved.
McAuley Engineering and all other employers require young people joining the workforce to be work ready and understand the essential requirements of employment.