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Intel supports launch of new training initiative to meet the demand for maintenance technicians in advanced manufacturing sector

New route into Technology Careers for women and men through a Further Education Certificate and hands-on Work Experience

LEIXLIP, JUNE 30TH– FIT, together with Intel and Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board today announced details of a new training initiative which will open up opportunities for those with an ambition to embark on careers in Ireland’s growing advanced manufacturing sector. FIT and Intel share a goal of attracting women and men from diverse backgrounds to consider embarking on fulfilling careers in advanced manufacturing which is a growth area across a number of dynamic sectors in Ireland. It includes 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.

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Intel employee Laura Gallagher is pictured at the launch of the new training programme

Expanding and successful manufacturing companies need a pool of smart and enthusiastic entrants who have the capacity to support manufacturing processes that depend on a variety of underlying disciplines. These roles are ideal for people with multidisciplinary skills and a passion to keep learning and grow with their companies as they develop new manufacturing processes for future product streams.

This training initiative is aimed at those who have an interest in hands-on problem solving involving the maintenance and trouble-shooting of complex equipment used in manufacturing processes. They will be offered the opportunity to enhance their skills and qualifications by undertaking a 48 week programme and which will result in a major award at Level 6 accredited by QQI and a unit award accredited by City & Guilds. This is an exciting prospect for young women and men to gain knowledge of a range of skills such as electronic, electrical, mechanical and programmable logic controllers. 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.

We live in a time where technology must constantly evolve to make more things possible and all things easier, smarter, and more connect ed than ever before. Every aspect of our society today, from education, healthcare, enterprise, transportation to our homes and the physical environments around us are being transformed by the potential of technology which has transitioned beyond merely a practical tool to support our everyday lives. With industry analysts estimating that there will be 50 billion connected devices in the world by 2020, it is clear this has massive potential for the advanced manufacturing sector in terms of growth, innovation and opportunity for unparalleled creativity. With a future this bright Ireland can benefit by tapping into the skills, energy and enthusiasm of a new stream of diverse entrants by encouraging and supporting them to join the multidisciplinary manufacturing teams that are core to delivering this vision.

Officially launching the new Manufacturing Maintenance Technician programme Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation said: “The collaboration between FIT, Intel and Kildare & Wicklow ETB is the type of positive education and training partnership that this Government has long encouraged and promoted, particularly in the ICT Sector. The potential of this sector, like all sectors, is largely reliant on the skill-sets available to meet the constantly evolving requirements of the industry. The willingness and the ability of employers such as Intel Ireland to be proactive in identifying their specific skill needs and then to work collaboratively with the education and training system to ensure that young unemployed people have the opportunity to gain the right skills and also to gain valuable work experience in the ICT Sector is crucial.”

Speaking at the launch event which was attended by representatives from a range of stakeholders including industry, the educational sector, government and policy makers in the area of future skills needs Mr. Eamonn Sinnott, General Manager of Intel Ireland and President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland said: “One of the interesting characteristics of Ireland’s industrial base, covering both FDI and indigenous companies, is the continuing and enduring presence of so many manufacturing companies – a characteristic that I believe is vitally important to our economy. Considering the importance of this sector and indeed the opportunity that it holds, 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 and ensure their relevancy to industry. Importantly, this new collaboration will also seek to actively drive a greater representation of female participation in this technical expertise – something which is vitally important for Intel and indeed the entire tech industry”

Peter Davitt, CEO FIT said: “FIT is delighted that industry has endorsed this new training initiative and that the further education sector have listened to and embraced the views of industry and that Kildare and Wicklow ETB are proceeding with a pilot of this ground breaking programme. The proposed training initiative clearly demonstrates the calibre of skills development that can be attained through further education and training provision and affirms its capacity as a valued and credible talent pipeline for addressing skills needs across industry sectors. FIT would like to acknowledge the strong engagement and expert input of Intel in developing the programme and the support and enthusiasm of Kildare and Wicklow of Education and Training Board in implementing the programme. The initiative clearly demonstrates how effective collaboration between industry and training provision can address the skill needs of the economy in a timely fashion and create new employment opportunities for people throughout the country.”

Sean Ashe Chief Executive of KWETB stated that “The FET strategy must develop new and innovative training courses to cater for the emerging skills needs of Industry. This innovative course is one such exemplar and I congratulate Intel, FIT, SOLAS and KWETB for engaging in a partnership to deliver this course. I am confident that the students attending this course will obtain gainful employment in this strategic sector of our economy for which this course is designed.”

The first of the pilot courses is planned to commence in September 2015 with a further 2 courses commencing in early 2016. Applications to the programme will be accepted over the coming weeks – for more information contact

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Minister of State for Skills and Innovation, Damien English, Intel Ireland General Manager Eamonn Sinnott and CEO of FIT Peter Davitt are pictured at Intel Ireland where a new training initiative was announced today

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Speakers at the launch event included Fiona Hartley, SOLAS Executive Director, Sean Ashe, CEO of Kildare & Wicklow ETB, Peter Davitt, FIT CEO, Paul Sweetman, Director of ICT Ireland and Intel Ireland General Manager Eamonn Sinnott

Further Information

About FIT

FIT is an industry-led initiative which works in close collaboration with government departments and national education and training agencies, local development organisations and a host of community based organisations. Its primary partners in education and training include SOLAS, ETBs (formerly VECs), ETBI, ICT Ireland, Intreo, Third Level Institutions, Léargas, Leader / Partnership Companies and LESNs.

FIT’s mission is to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills for those with the aptitude and ambition to commence a career in ICT. FIT is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. The Initiative develops and promotes technology-based programmes and career development opportunities for job-seekers who have become detached from the labour market in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. FIT commenced in Dublin in 1999 and now operates across the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. For more see

About Intel

Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.

Additional information about Intel is available at:

Web – |  Twitter – @Intel_IRL  |  Facebook – Intel Ireland

Media contact: Sarah Sexton  | + 353 1 606 8537


About Intel

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