Over 600 apprentices now engaged in Manufacturing Engineering and Polymer Apprenticeships

September 28, 2023

Ibec’s Irish Medtech Association and Polymer Technology Ireland, the Ibec groups which represents the medtech, and polymer sectors, celebrated over 600 apprentices now engaged with the Manufacturing Technician Level 6, Manufacturing Engineer Level 7 and Polymer Processing Technologist Level 7 apprenticeship programmes at special ‘Talent to Thrive’ event hosted by the Irish Medtech Association Board at The G Hotel, 27 September.


Irish Medtech Association Chair and Freudenberg Advisory Board Member Medical Barry J. Comerford said, “The Manufacturing Engineering and Polymer Technology Apprenticeships were amongst the first 25 apprenticeships launched by the Department of Education and Skills with industry in 2017. These programmes represent a radical modernisation of the traditional apprenticeships system, they offer new routes to high-tech careers by equipping participants with skills such as manufacturing automation, engineering science, polymer processing, and lean manufacturing. Manufacturing in Ireland is a key driver of Irish economic growth attracting regional investment and creating career opportunities. Ireland's level of employment in high-technology manufacturing stands out in Europe, with over 260,000 people employed in the sector, accounting for over 12% of total employment in the economy. To maintain this we’re calling on the Government to spend €500 million, under Budget 2024, on measures under the National Training Fund to deliver key skills for a modern knowledge economy and create a ‘Lifelong Learning Strategy for Ireland’.”


Ibec Medtech & Engineering Director, Sinead Keogh said, “To meet the demand of this growing industry, and compete internationally, our modern apprenticeships are vital. The business community have embraced these programmes with 132 companies including global leaders in the health technology industries like Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer taking on apprentices. Moreover, they illustrate the value of collaboration as these programmes are delivered across the country by the Technological Universities in Galway, Sligo, Limerick, Athlone and Cork. With graduates from our apprenticeship programmes successfully advancing on their careers we are seeing more demand from students, professionals, and companies. Across our three apprenticeships we’d 10 intakes this year. Our ambition for the future is not only to add a Level 8 course, but also to expand regionally by offering our apprenticeships on Ireland’s East coast next year through the technical universities


Ibec Medtech and Engineering Apprenticeships Project Manager Trish Breen said, “I’d like to thank the National Apprenticeship Office, Solas, the Higher Education Authority, the Apprenticeship Alliance, the participating Technological Universities, and our industry consortium for working together to deliver these incredible apprenticeships. We hope that the positive feedback on the calibre of employee emerging from these competitive programmes will encourage more people to choose the apprenticeships as a route to education that lets you earn as you learn. Creating a single integrated apprenticeship system and parity across all apprenticeships has been identified as a government priority and we believe that if this is achieved it will help ensure that these worldclass programmes are sustainable to offer new routes to meaningful careers for all.”