New manufacturing engineering apprenticeships launched by GMIT, Ibec and industry consortium

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Dept of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering led design of brand new apprenticeships

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and Ibec are pleased to announce two new manufacturing apprenticeship programmes – a three-year Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering and a two-year National Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering. The 15 weeks academic blocks commence at the Galway campus in September 2017 and January 2018.

The two new programmes were developed by a consortium of industry and academia representatives involving Ibec’s Irish Medtech Association. GMIT’s Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department led the academic development of the programme. It is the first time a manufacturing engineering degree and national certificate are being made available through apprenticeship mode in Ireland.

Gerard MacMichael, Head of the GMIT School of Engineering, says “GMIT is delighted to have developed two pioneering new apprenticeship programmes with the Irish Medtech Association and so many leading companies. These programmes represent the future path for students to obtain higher education awards in engineering as an alternative to full time education”.

Spiddal-based Chair of the consortium and CEO of Cambus Medical, Barry Comerford, stated: "As an ex-army apprentice, I immediately saw the value of this kind of programme. For innovative manufacturing industries in Ireland we needed something more like the successful German apprenticeship model where industry was a major driver. As a CEO it was important for me to get involved from the start and I now expect to see even more businesses getting involved once they see the results."

Denise Carthy, Irish Medtech Association & Plastics Ireland Apprenticeship Manager, says "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 Carine Gachon, Head of the GMIT Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, says “We are delighted to have been at the forefront of developing the first Manufacturing Engineering degree and Higher Certificate by apprenticeship mode in Ireland. As academic programme leaders, we worked closely with industry and our partner Institutes of Technology to develop this programme, tailored to the needs of learners and of industry.”

Dr Paul O’Dowd, GMIT Programme Coordinator, says “Our first group of apprentices will start their industry-based induction this month. We look forward to working with them in September, when they come to GMIT for their 15 weeks of institute-based learning. Our lecturers will continue to support them in the follow-on industry blocks. The companies involved include Siemens, Boston Scientific, Cambus Medical, Fort Wayne Metals, Multi Packaging Solutions, Abbott Diagnostics Longford, Allergan, and Zimmer. They are all fully committed to this new approach to learning; the industry mentors; who will each be coaching an apprentice, are already actively engaged with us.”

For details on these two new apprenticeship manufacturing engineering programmes, see:……