Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Niall Collins TD, has officially launched the Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship. This 3-year apprenticeship programme aims to provide learners with the required knowledge, skills, and competence to become qualified maintenance technicians in the growing Irish Renewable and Sustainable Energy sector.
Minister Niall Collins TD expressed his support for the programme, stating, "I am delighted that this Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship is officially launched by Kerry ETB today. Apprenticeships such as this are an integral step towards increasing annual apprenticeship registrations to 10,000 by 2025, a target we set out under the Action Plan for Apprenticeship to reform the apprenticeship system.
"We are very aware that the country is facing a significant challenge in terms of skills shortages. That is why we have put such an emphasis on apprenticeships.
"We need people in a variety of different industries to work in organisations, learning on the job while also benefitting the employers and society as a whole."
An apprenticeship can provide a real and substantive career pathway for school leavers, those looking to upskill, change careers or for people who are looking for a route back to employment in new and growing areas, particularly in the area of Green Skills, which benefits our economy in more ways than just employment.
Cllr Jim Finucane, Chairperson of Kerry ETB, added, "The Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship is a significant development for Kerry ETB and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy sector in Ireland. We are proud to be at the forefront of this initiative, which will help support the growth of the Irish Renewable and Sustainable Energy sector. I wish all the apprentices the very best of luck as they embark on this exciting journey".
The Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship recently won the Wind Energy Ireland Talent and Skills Development Award, which is a further testament to Kerry ETB's commitment to innovative programme design and development. This new and exciting apprenticeship offers exceptional opportunities for those looking to establish a rewarding career in the sector. It was developed by a consortium of industry representatives and Kerry ETB as the lead educational provider.
Robert O'Brien, Chair of the Consortium Steering Group, said, "As Chairperson of the Consortium Steering Group, I am extremely proud of what has been collaboratively developed by many key industry stakeholders. I am certain that this programme helps address industry needs as we continue to develop the sustainable energy sector, enhance energy security, and reduce carbon generation in line with Ireland's global environmental commitments."
While on this programme, apprentices will undertake seven stages of training. Four of these stages, known as ''off-the-job'' training, will take place at Kerry College Monavalley Campus in Tralee in their state-of-the-art wind turbine training facility. A further three stages of training will take place onsite with their employer – otherwise known as ''on-the-job'' training. Apprentices will be paid by their employer for both on- and off-the-job phases of training. This ''earn while you learn'' model effectively means that apprentices earn an income from day one.
Owen O'Donnell, Director of Further Education at Training at Kerry ETB, said, "This apprenticeship programme is a testament to the strong partnership between Kerry Education and Training Board, industry representatives, and SOLAS. It is a unique programme which combines the best of industry knowledge and academic expertise to provide learners with the skills, knowledge, and competence required to become highly skilled maintenance technicians in the Wind Energy sector."
This programme is an excellent example of the work done between SOLAS and Kerry ETB to ensure that learners have access to high-quality education and training programmes that meet the needs of the Irish labour market.
Con O'Sullivan, Campus Manager of Kerry College Monavalley Campus, added, "This apprenticeship programme offers exceptional opportunities for those who wish to develop a rewarding and exciting career in the Green Energy sector. The programme is designed to provide learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to ensure that they can make a positive contribution to their workplaces."
The minimum age requirement for this programme is 18 years of age, with a QQI Level 4 Major Award (or equivalent) or at least 3 years of trade-related experience. Pass Grade in Maths at Level 3 (or equivalent) and a B2 Level of English language proficiency where applicable. Places on this apprenticeship are limited, and those looking to find out more information are asked to contact your local Education & Training Board. A network of Local Authorised Officers across the 16 ETBs will be happy to discuss the apprenticeship with you. Alternatively, you can contact Kerry College Monavalley Campus on 066 7149600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org