Minister celebrates first Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship graduates

September 09, 2019

The Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec group which represents the sector, and Minister of State at the Department of Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today celebrated the first graduating class Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship (Level 6). 

Chair of the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Consortium and CEO Cambus Medical, Barry Comerford said: “This apprenticeship programme has given participants the opportunity to gain qualifications by studying subjects such as computer aided design, engineering science, and lean manufacturing with the University of Limerick. The Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship (Level 6) not only has a high 95% completion rate but are also performing exceptionally well averaging a first (73%).” 

“But what separates apprenticeships from traditional careers routes is the way students combine classroom learning with on the job training with worldclass companies such J&J Vision, Molex, Teleflex, Takumi, Zimmer and Munster Packaging. As an ex-army apprentice, I know from personal experience how far an apprenticeship can take you.” 

Ibec Medtech & Engineering Director,  Sinead Keogh said: “ The Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship was one of the first 25 apprenticeship proposals put forward by industry accepted by the Department of Education and Skills. This not only represented a radical modernisation from the traditional apprenticeships that focused on areas such as construction, printing and aircraft maintenance, to offering new routes to high-tech sectors such as medtech. I would like to congratulate the graduates on their achievement today and wish them every success in the future”

“As we look to the future we need to ensure the sustainability of the new apprenticeship programmes. To do this we need to ensure the funding model makes it easier for SMEs to engage, drive a national campaign to encourage ambitious young people to choose apprenticeships as a key step in their career journey and encourage more women into engineering professions.” 

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Our talent pool is one of the key reasons why Ireland is a location of choice for business. It is fantastic to see the success of the first graduating class of Manufacturing Engineering Apprentices get such high results and secure jobs from their participation in the programme. I commend the Irish Medtech Association’s involvement in the programme.  The modern manufacturing and polymer technology apprenticeships will most certainly increase Ireland’s attractiveness and create new career pathways.”