Donnelly Group Apprentices Recognised At South West College Awards

Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned vehicle retailer, Donnelly Group, is celebrating four apprentices who have been recognised at the South West College Apprenticeship Awards. The annual ceremony, which took place on 13th June, celebrates and showcases the achievements of South West College students who have exceeded expectations and made a significant contribution to their workplace throughout their apprenticeship.

Donnelly Group Team
Donnelly Group Team Outside Dealership
Left to Right: Declan McCaughey (South West College), Jonathan Sharkey, Adam Cumberland, Lisa McMenemy (After Sales Manager, Jaguar Land Rover), Billie-Jo McKenzie, Ruairi Barrow, Rodger Lundy (Aftersales Manager, Honda)
Donnelly Group Apprentices

Declan McCaughey, Lecturer at South West College commented:

“We are immensely proud of our apprenticeship programme and the valuable contribution it makes to the professional development of our students as well as the employers we work with, for whom we are very grateful. Our Apprenticeship Awards are a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the remarkable achievements of our apprentices alongside their families who support our students throughout this process.”

This year, Donnelly Group had four of their apprentices recognised at the event:

  1. Ruairi Barrow - Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair
  2. Billie-Jo McKenzie - GOLD Automotive Apprenticeship Level 3
  3. Jonathan Sharkey - Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair
  4. Billie-Jo McKenzie - Top Training Student
  5. Adam Cumberland - Outstanding Achievement Award

Robert Fitzpatrick, Head of Group Learning and Development at Donnelly Group, said:

“These awards are recognising just 4 of the 45 apprentices that we welcomed in 2018, many of whom are now full – time employees. Our apprentice programme, which is certified by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), provides applicants the chance to earn while they learn with one of Northern Ireland’s leading vehicle retailers. The programme allows us to recognise and recruit talented 16 – 21-year olds who help Donnelly Group to grow through their enthusiasm, willingness to learn, talent and ambition. Apprenticeships are available in a variety of disciplines from sales to technicians and even administration or customer service.”

The apprenticeship programme runs across all nine Donnelly Group locations, including; Bangor, Ballymena, Belfast, Dungannon M1, Dungannon Moy Road, Eglinton, Enniskillen, Mallusk and Omagh.

Those taking part in the programme have the opportunity to work with 18 international car brands, in workshops which are fitted with the most up-to-date technology, ensuring an unrivalled learning environment with some of the best mentors in the industry.

Mr Fitzpatrick concluded:

“Apprenticeships create opportunities for young people, enabling them to develop skills, earn qualifications and build a career. Creating young skilled apprentices is pivotal not just for our business, but for the future of the motor industry. With a workforce of over 800 employees and ongoing investment at our nine sites across Northern Ireland, including our newly opened £6m Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Dungannon, this is a very exciting time to work for Donnelly Group.”

Adam Cumberland, who collected the coveted Outstanding Achievement Award said:

“It has been a privilege being working for the Donnelly Group and I am honoured to have won this award. An apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me as it developed my skillset and prepared me for full time employment whilst also gaining the skills and qualifications I need for the future.”

Donnelly Group is now seeking applicants for its 2019 Sales Executive and Service Technician apprenticeship programmes. Those interested in applying are invited to an open day to inform and recruit on Thursday 20th June at Donnelly Group Headquarters in Dungannon, from 3-7PM.

For more information on employment opportunities with the Donnelly Group, please contact the Careers Team on 02887722887 or email