Three new apprenticeship schemes have been introduced in the medtech sector as part of Government attempts to plug the skills gap in the domestic manufacturing industry.
Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland, the Ibec groups that represent the medtech and polymer sectors, said 1,100 new apprentices will be registered by 2025, which will “significantly address” the issue.
The scheme is part of the Department of Education and Skills wider national strategy.
Irish Medtech Association and Plastics Ireland apprenticeship manager Denise Carthy said the apprenticeships will offer candidates the opportunity to gain qualifications and experience with world leading companies operating in the Republic.
“Apprenticeships offer participants more than on the job skills and training,” she said. “They are also a passport to a great career choice with large global companies.
“Ireland’s talent pool has always been at the heart of our economic strategy for growth and attracting FDI, and with the uncertainty generated by both Brexit and the new US administration, getting apprenticeships right is a major strategic advantage.
“We’re now seeing unprecedented demand for qualified engineers and technicians from businesses this year with 4,000 new jobs to be added in the medtech sector and 8,400 jobs in biopharma by 2020.”
Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan said he was “delighted to be involved” in the apprenticeships.
“The consortia involved in the development of these new programmes have set an ambitious target of having 1,100 apprentices registered on the medtech and polymer schemes by 2025,” he said.
“By its nature, apprenticeship is an employer led programme aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market.
“Employer buy in is critical as the apprenticeship model is dependent on employers taking on apprentices.
“It is essential that key stakeholders continue to build on existing and foster new relationships within the enterprise community and that all sectors of the economy embrace the challenge to develop new apprenticeships.”