South West College Launch Brand-New Dry Lining Apprenticeship

South West College Launch Brand-New Dry Lining Apprenticeship
March, 2021

In partnership with South West College (SWC),  Oakleaf Contracts,  a local company with an international reach, has launched a brand-new Dry Lining apprenticeship. The apprenticeship will be delivered through the Department for the Economy’s Apprenticeship NI Programme. 


In response to industry demand, Oakleaf Contracts based in Magherafelt with over 20 years’ experience identified a skills gap and partnered with SWC to develop a pioneering apprenticeship programme as a way of upskilling young people to meet current and future industry skills needs.   


The programme offers an attractive progression route towards further education at Level-3, and the two highest-performing apprentices will be awarded an impressive £1,000 bursary on successful completion. 


Oakleaf Contracts is a progressive, award-winning subcontractor specialising in drywall partition and interior fit outs within the ever-growing Healthcare, Education and IT sectors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. This apprenticeship scheme will play an integral role in the company’s growth strategy.  


Michael Scullion, Director at Oakleaf Contracts, said: “We have a five-year strategic plan where we aim to employ twelve apprentices per year and hope that this will bring new young talent to the industry and help our business grow in Ireland, the UK and Europe. We anticipate that some apprentices will progress into management, whether that’s on-site or office management, such as Site Managers and Engineers, Quantity Surveyors or Estimators. We place a high value on our team, and many staff have progressed from site workers to senior management. 


This particular sector is expanding for various reasons, and the world is now a smaller place, so taking jobs on in Ireland, the UK or even Europe is now the norm; hence the need to strengthen and expand our pool of workers right across the board. It is intended this apprenticeship scheme in partnership with SWC is the way to bridge the skills gap within the construction industry. The mixture of college learning and site work will give the students an excellent grounding and many opportunities for various routes of career progression at the end of the two-year programme, whether that be to continue in a growing trades sector, or possible further education.” 


The College is actively recruiting for this exciting initiative, with the first twelve apprentices due to start College at Dungannon Campus in September 2021. Apprentices aged 16 and over will gain valuable on-the-job experience at Oakleaf Contracts whilst studying for two years part-time, helping apprentices become ‘work ready’ whilst gaining an industry-leading qualification.  Oakleaf is also offering a limited number of prospective apprentices the chance to take on summer work if they wish to gain some site experience before entering part-time college work.  


Stephen Moss, Head of School Natural and Built Environment at South West college, said:  

“We are delighted to be involved in this exciting partnership between Oakleaf Contracts and South West College to offer motivated young people a fantastic training and career opportunity in the modern method of construction of Interior Systems. This includes Dry Lining, Metal Partitioning, Suspended Ceilings and Raised Access Flooring installation. This is an outstanding career opportunity that offers motivated apprentices the chance to excel through high level on and off the job training.” 


For further information and to apply, please visit and search for Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Interior Systems (Dry Lining.) Or please contact the College directly on 028 8225 0109 ext. 2321, John Mc Teggart or email