The Mid West Region is in the midst of an engineering skills shortage and has come together to develop a solution. Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in collaboration with Limerick for Engineering, an industry consortium have developed a degree level apprenticeship designed to upskill qualified electricians to Industrial Electrical Engineers in just 2 years.
LIT held a briefing session for members of the regional Educational Training Board’s and Industry to highlight the success of the programme so far. The programme is in its second year and is being supported by companies from across the country, Dornan Engineering in Cork, Molex in Shannon, Mercury Engineering in Dublin, Enersol in County Meath as well as companies such as the ESB and Bord Na Mona.
“LIT is absolutely committed to this new apprenticeship model. We want to see people achieve progression through apprenticeship-based degrees. We want to see people learning while earning. This is a model which we believe will succeed, and one that can be applied in other sectors. This apprenticeship is at the forefront of how learning is changing in Ireland.” said Prof. Vincent Cunnane President of LIT.
“Programmes such as the Level 7 Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Electrical Engineering will ensure that apprenticeships will continue to be an integral part of our business for the next 50 years and beyond” was one of the benefits highlighted by Dave McNamara Associate Director of Kirby’s Engineering Group based in Limerick who currently have three Industrial Electrical Apprentices on the programme.
Mark Egan who is currently enrolled on the B.Eng. in Industrial Electrical Engineering (Apprenticeship) has 23 years’ experience in the industry and is currently working as an electrical supervisor with engineering company STS Group in Waterford who are sponsoring his two-year degree in Electrical Engineering. STS feel it is the perfect fit as 70 percent of Marks time during the apprenticeship is spent on the job, while the remaining 30 percent is spent in LIT.
“I would recommend this method of education to any electrician who would be interested, the experience that they have gained on site will be a great platform to start from. Also, from the employer’s perspective, the financial impact is relatively low,” said Egan.
To learn more about the apprenticeship programme in LIT visit apprenticeship.lit.ie
Pictured above: Mark Egan, Apprentice, STS, Brendan Muldowney, Kirby Group and Prof. Vincent Cunnane, President LIT