SRC Construction Student Wins Northern Ireland Apprentice of the Year Award

The winners of the Department for the Economy’s annual Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards were announced today, 29 March. The awards celebrate employers, apprentices, and champions from a wide range of industries and occupations.

Southern Regional College are delighted to announce that Conor Braniff, a level 2 floor and wall tiling apprentice at the College was presented with the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award, fighting off stiff competition from across the sector and apprenticeship training providers.  

Conor, who is employed by Tullycross Tiling, is so dedicated to his training that he travels over 80 miles to college each week and his tutors have commented that “his commitment and attendance is outstanding”. His sheer dedication to his course, learning and employment has proved that the skills he is learning and putting into practice are beyond those of others his age. On top of his training and employment, he is also in training to compete in the tiling category of UK Skillbuild final. 

Speaking at a ceremony hosted by speaker and broadcaster David Meade in the Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s office, Mike Brennan, Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy, said: “The Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards are an opportunity to appreciate those who have made a significant investment in vocational education. The awards ceremony allows us to celebrate the commitment and the immense capability of our apprentices, their employers and the training providers who support them.”

Brian Doran, Principal & Chief Executive of Southern Regional College commented:

This is a fantastic achievement for Conor who has made a big impact already so early on in his career.  It is particularly inspiring that alongside his apprenticeship he is dedicating time to additional training to allow him to compete at a national level in his subject”.

“Being awarded Apprentice of the Year, Conor has demonstrated skills and knowledge in his work that go far beyond that expected. A huge vote of thanks also goes to Conor’s lecturing team at SRC, who have nurtured his talent and supported him during his time at college. A significant achievement for all”.

More information on the Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Awards 2023 can be found on the Department’s website at