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New engineering apprenticeship programmes underway in GMIT

Manufacturing Engineering courses offered on a part-time basis in partnership with Irish Medtech Association – second intake now being recruited

Author: 

Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

‘Generation Apprentice’ has kicked off in GMIT with Ireland’s first ever degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Higher Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering, by apprenticeship mode, now being delivered at the Galway (Dublin Road) campus. 

These two engineering apprentice programmes are delivered on a part-time basis and will appeal to people who have a keen interest in technology and good practical skills who want to get onto the engineering career ladder.  Developed by the Irish Medtech Association (Ibec sector) and a strong industry consortium with GMIT as the lead developer (co-ordinating provider), these manufacturing apprenticeships are suitable for a hugely diverse manufacturing environment such as Medical Technology, Plastics, Pharma, Food, Machinery, and ICT.

Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Programme Coordinator, School of Engineering, says: “This course, offered at two levels, is welcome news for local high-tech companies as demand is high for engineers and technicians who can hit the ground running.  This is a Cognitive  apprenticeship as opposed to a traditional Craft apprenticeship, and the emphasis is on learning how to think like an engineer or technician, how to solve problems in creative and structured ways, using high technology tools and methods.”

GMIT’s Head of Dept Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Dr Carine Gachon, says, “The apprentices attend GMIT for 15 weeks per year, where they cover much of the theoretical content and the skills that they will use in industry.  The rest of their learning takes place in the workplace, where their progress is assisted by Industry-based mentors, and by their GMIT lecturers. While back at work, the apprentices will conduct exercises, projects and assessments, to evaluate their learning. The Level 6 Higher Certificate takes two years, while the Level 7 Engineering degree takes three years.”

Apprentice Engineers from a wide range of companies are already studying in GMIT.  Local companies are now recruiting for a second intake of apprentices who will start work in November and start their first block of studies in GMIT in January. Any company looking to find out more can contact Denise Carthy, Apprenticeship Manager for the Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland. All applications are through the Irish Medtech Association. Email: denise.carthy@ibec.ie

Gerard MacMichael, Head of the GMIT School of Engineering, says “These apprenticeship programmes provide companies with an excellent opportunity to upskill and nurture their own in-house engineering talent, and to attract high quality new hires. Both programmes are industry-led, and we worked very closely with the Irish Medtech Association in their development.”

Barry Comerford, CEO at Cambus Medical and Chairman of the Apprenticeship Consortium, says, “I was honoured to be asked, by the Board of the Irish Medtech Association, to help with the development of these Apprenticeships.”

“I started out as an Apprentice Fitter in the Irish Army in 1982. I was not a great academic student and so, Kolb’s experiential learning process of observing, thinking, experimenting and doing really suited me. I am passionate in my support for the apprentices, the consortium and the further development of the programs.”

“The Apprentices and all of the other stakeholders will keep the courses relevant by suggesting incremental improvements to the learning cycle. We all need to ensure that we do not allow the process to ‘stand still’. I firmly believe that the graduates of these apprenticeships will become some of the top engineers and Industry Leaders of the future”.

The following diverse range of companies are taking part in the manufacturing apprenticeship programme in GMIT: Abbot, McHale, Zimmer, Multi packaging Solutions, Boston Scientific, Robotics & Drives, HID Global, Synecco, Cambus Medical, Siemens, M&M Qualtech, MSA Safety & BD Medical. 

For further information on GMIT see www.gmit.ie and the Irish Medtech Association, see http://www.irishmedtechassoc.ie/Sectors/IMDA/IMDA.nsf/vPages/Home?OpenDo...

The first class studying Manufacturing Engineering by Apprenticeship Mode in GMIT, with Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (right).

The first class studying Manufacturing Engineering by Apprenticeship Mode in GMIT, with Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (right).

The first class studying Manufacturing Engineering by Apprenticeship Mode in GMIT, with Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (right).David Keenan & Trevor Murtagh, Abbott Diagnostics, Longford; Janusz Kujawski and Declan Hynes, Boston Scientific; Kieran Duffy and Jason Bohan, Cambus Medical.David Keenan, Abbott, Longford; Edvardas Rimkus, Zimmer, Galway; Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.