Education Minister Simon Harris highlighted the need for apprenticeships to be included in the CAO system when he paid a visit to the Regional Skills and Training Centre here in Dundalk, where he met with our staff and apprentices.
Minister Harris was welcomed by the Chief executive of LMETB, Martin O'Brien, the Director of Further Education, Sadie Ward McDermott, the Area Training Manager, Ciarán Ó Mathuna, Assistant Training Managers Paul Rosbotham, and Bernie McKevitt.
On welcoming the minister, the Director of FET noted that the support of Minister Harris to LMETB and in particular to the FET sector was most welcome, that his visit the RSTC to see the great work of our apprentices was much appreciated.
He explained how the training centre in Dundalk 'has a long and proud history of training apprentices in the areas of carpentry and joinery, wood manufacturing, pipefitting, plumbing, metal fabrication, and motor mechanics, along with traineeships in CAD design, office administration and software engineering.
While off site in satellite centres the LMETB/RSTC provide training to the unemployed in many and varied courses such as HGV driving, Healthcare, Hairdressing, MOS, to name just a few, while also supporting local training initiatives in Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan, Dunshaughlin.
Minister Harris undertook a tour of the training centre visiting a number of workshops where he met with member of staff and apprentices.
Of particular interest was the new electrical workshop that has been developed as a direct response to the SOLAS request to address the apprenticeship waiting lists. The Minister stopped off with apprentices in the carpentry and joinery, electrical, pipefitting, and metal fabrication workshops.He was very impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the apprentices and thanked the staff for the great work being carried out.
During his formal address Minister Harris spoke of his desire to see changes to the current CAO system to enable it include apprenticeships as an option when deciding what to study, noting that there is always a demand for qualified trades people.