Barry O'Connor welcomed the commencement of the programme, which is supported by a number of top companies in the manufacturing-engineering sector. There is unprecedented demand for qualified engineers and technicians from businesses this year
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Cork Institute of Technology President, Dr Barry O’Connor, has welcomed the development and delivery of a new apprenticeship programme in Manufacturing Engineering. “CIT is delighted to be involved in the development, and delivery of the new apprenticeship programmes which meet the needs of industry whilst offering career advancement to a new group of learners,” he said.

“Employer involvement is critical to the apprenticeship model of education as it is dependent on employers taking on apprentices. I wish to acknowledge the pioneering efforts made by Alps, Boston Scientific (Clonmel), DePuySynthes, Lake Region Medical, Sanmina and the Irish Medtech Association in supporting the first intake into the Manufacturing Engineering apprenticeship programme in CIT.  I want to encourage all employers to become involved in this new manufacturing engineering apprenticeship, to take on apprentices, and to develop the talent pipeline which is required to sustain a vibrant manufacturing sector into the future,” he concluded.

Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland Apprenticeship Manager, Denise Carthy, said “The new manufacturing apprenticeships offer candidates a unique opportunity to get excellent qualifications and experience with world-leading companies operating in Ireland. Apprenticeships offer participants more than on-the-job skills and training, they are also a passport to a great career choice with large global companies.”

“Ireland’s talent pool has always been at the heart of our economic strategy for growth and attracting FDI and with the uncertainty generated by both Brexit and the new US administration, getting apprenticeships right is a major strategic advantage. We’re seeing unprecedented demand for qualified engineers and technicians from businesses this year with 4,000 new jobs to be added in the medtech sector and 8,400 jobs in biopharma by 2020. We’re delighted that, based on the current uptake, we expect to have nearly 1,100 apprentices registered by 2025.”

Dr Matt Cotterell, Head of School of Mechanical, Electrical and Process Engineering in CIT, added “We are delighted to have been part of the consortium that developed these new apprenticeships aimed at the manufacturing sector which ranges from large-scale MNEs to small scale, indigenous, firms. The programme is co-ordinated by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (as lead provider) and the Irish Medtech Association; there was widespread consultation with manufacturing industry throughout the country during the development phase and with colleagues from other Institutes of Technology in Athlone, Dublin, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.”

Prof. Ger Kelly, Head of Department of Mechanical, Biomedical and Manufacturing, which is responsible for delivering the programme in CIT, explained that “successful candidates will qualify with a Higher Certificate or Degree in Manufacturing Engineering while at the same time gaining valuable industrial experience with their employers. The programme fits very well with the portfolio of offerings in CIT. For industry, the programme addresses their needs for a highly skilled workforce whilst the apprentices are afforded the opportunity to study and progress in their careers using the ‘earn and learn’ model of education/training”.

Shane McDonald is a native of Adamstown, Co. Wexford, and is employed as an Apprentice Engineer by Lake Region Medical in New Ross. “This programme provides an amazing opportunity that allows you to get valuable hands-on experience, while focusing on the real world skills that employers require. Students are allowed the opportunity to up-skill, while remaining in full-time employment. The unique mix of structured lectures, and on-the-job experience, allow new skills to be applied in the work-place more rapidly than before. The programme has been really captivating so far and our existing industry experience allows us to fully engage with the lecturers and truly get the most from this course.”

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Cork Institute of Technology President, Dr Barry O’Connor, has welcomed the development and delivery of a new apprenticeship programme in Manufacturing Engineering. “CIT is delighted to be involved in the development, and delivery of the new apprenticeship programmes which meet the needs of industry whilst offering career advancement to a new group...