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Intel and FIT launch manufacturing training course for women

The pilot training initiative will begin in April offering an innovative Advanced Manufacturing Technician Maintenance Skills programme to women

Fastrack to IT (FIT) and Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB), together with Intel today announced details of an innovative training programme which will provide opportunities for women to embark on careers in Ireland’s advanced manufacturing sector.

FIT, KWETB and Intel share a goal of attracting women from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in advanced manufacturing. Manufacturing is one of the most dynamic and vibrant sectors in Ireland and one which is poised to see increasing growth and complexity in the years ahead as we continue to see the impact of Industry 4.0 and the adoption of digital technology.

Ireland has a reputation as a global centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing and the industry includes diverse companies involved in the production of computer parts and chips, plastics, pharma/bio-pharma, bulk chemicals, packaged goods, electrical components, control systems and a host of other products.

The advanced manufacturing industry is one in which women are significantly underrepresented. According to a survey released by Ibec in 2019, ‘female participation rates in manufacturing roles have decreased between 2001 and 2018 and overall female participation in these roles remains low.’

The pilot training initiative, which will begin in April, will offer an innovative and dynamic Advanced Manufacturing Technician Maintenance Skills programme to women seeking to pursue a career in the tech industry. The pilot comes at a time when people may be looking for an opportunity to re-skill or pursue a new career path after a period of much challenge and change.

The initiative is aimed at women who have an interest in hands-on problem solving and troubleshooting of equipment used in manufacturing processes. They will be offered the opportunity to enhance their skills and qualifications by undertaking a 48-week programme which will result in a major award at NFQ Level 6. This is an exciting prospect for women to gain a range of skills such as electronic, electrical, mechanical and programmable logic controllers as well as project management and problem-solving skills. Reflecting the practical nature of the programme, a 12-week integrated work experience element ensures a rounded learning approach, underpinning entry to the workforce. Participants will gain a qualification that will position them well for a career in a technology role across any sector.

Previous education experience, work experience or age are not barriers to pursuing this training opportunity.

Speaking about the official launch of the pilot scheme, Edel Hesnan, Director of Training and Employment Services, FIT said: “FIT is keen to encourage and enable more women to take their rightful place and to contribute their talents insights and expertise to Irelands growing manufacturing sector and key contributor to Ireland’s economic growth”.

Neil Philip, Fab 24 Factory Manager at Intel Ireland added; “This new programme provides a unique opportunity for women to pursue a technical qualification that will open up pathways to the wider technology industry. Actively driving initiatives that encourage greater participation of women is something which is vitally important for Intel and indeed for the entire tech industry. I welcome this collaboration with FIT and the further education sector as I believe it is a prime example of how industry and education and training can work together to shape the provision of future skills”.

Eileen Cullen, the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board Area Training manager also remarked on the new initiative; ‘KWETB is delighted to be supporting Ireland’s first ever Advanced Manufacturing Skills Traineeship for women with our partners FIT and Intel. It will be great to widen female participation in the industry. This is a timely launch as it comes just after we have had the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day”.

The first programme is due to commence in April 2021. Applications to the programme will be accepted over the coming weeks. The standard offering of the Manufacturing Technician Maintenance Skills programme (open to all) is also accepting applications. For more information contact


Further Information

About FIT
FIT (Fastrack to Information Technology) is a representative organisation of the technology sector committed to growing Ireland’s tech talent pipeline.  Working in close collaboration with national education and training provision, national and regional development agencies and community organisations, FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating routes to marketable technical skills for job seekers and career changers wishing to pursue quality professions in Ireland’s thriving digital economy.


Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board was established on 1st July 2013 under the Education and Training Boards Act 2013.  KWETB is the largest education training provider in Kildare and Wicklow.   Our mission is to provide high quality and innovative education and training which are accessible, responsive to the developing needs of learners of the community and of society and which promote excellence, quality and social inclusion.


About Intel
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