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Primary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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Deirdre Sayers
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Athlone Institute of Technology


Athlone Institute of Technology - Profile

Athlone Institute of Technology

AIT the lead provider in new 3 year polymer apprenticeship

1,100 new manufacturing and polymer apprentices by 2025

Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland, the Ibec groups that represent the medtech and polymer sectors, this week launched three new apprenticeship schemes as part of the Department of Education and Skills wider national strategy, underlining the growing strength behind Ireland’s business model. The groups predict that, based on current trends, 1,100 new apprentices will be registered by 2025, significantly addressing the skills gap for the domestic manufacturing industry, Ireland’s second largest employer. Speaking at the launch were Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD and regional business leaders. Kevin “Boxer” Moran, TD for Longford and Westmeath was also in attendance.

AIT are the Lead provider for a new 3-year apprenticeship that leads to the award of BSc in Polymer Processing. This is one of the first of the new employer led apprenticeships in the country. The first class of 16 have already started and are currently in the work-place. They will attend AIT for 15 weeks each year for three years from September 2017.
Dr Austin Hanley Dean of the faculty of engineering & Informatics said, “AIT has always been associated with polymer engineering and we graduate PhDs each year, host applied and basic research and offer Level 8 honours degrees in the domain, but the new apprenticeship fills a gap in the market that employers have been looking for over many years. We are delighted to be the Lead Provider on this, our traditional area of strength’.

Mr Joe Lawless Head of Department of Civil & Mechanical engineering was the main co-coordinator in designing the academic programme observed “This is a programme that is fitted to exactly what employers want while fulfilling the requirements to gain a BSc degree. Apprenticeship is a really effective way to build real and lasting competence”.
Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland Apprenticeship Manager Denise Carthy stated: “These manufacturing and polymer 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. These three new schemes, launched today, underscore the scope of substance behind the Irish business model. In fact, we’re now 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.”

Click here to read full press release.

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