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New FIT Manufacturing Technician Programme with INTEL

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New FIT Manufacturing Technician Programme with INTEL

Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

New FIT Manufacturing Technician Programme with INTEL

Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, has officially launched a new Fastrack to IT (FIT) Manufacturing Technician Programme.

The new training programme will train and prepare candidates for advanced manufacturing industries in Ireland.

The initiative is a collaboration by FIT with Intel, at its Irish campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare and the Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB), supported by SOLAS.

The further education programme will train manufacturing maintenance technicians in a 48-week course that is Level 6-accredited by QQI, with a unit award from City and Guilds. Reflecting the practical nature of the programme, there is also a 12 week integrated work experience element to ensure 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.

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. Intel is working with FIT, which specialises in IT training and recruitment. They will encourage participants to engage in the programme with a view to embarking on a career in a number of sectors, including:

  • Production of computer parts and chips
  • Bio-pharma
  • Bulk chemicals
  • Packaged goods and
  • Electrical components.

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.

Recognising that university is not the only route into high-tech sector career areas, the 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.  

Women and Career Changers

A key element is to make such careers more attractive to women, as well as those who might be returning to work or changing disciplines. 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.

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

Eamon Sinnott, vice president and general manager Ireland for Intel, said that Irish factories are now “a well spring of technical ability,” far from the situation decades ago where a career started in a factory was often what resulted when people did not do well in education.

“Importantly,” said Sinnott, “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”

  Visit the INTEL Ireland Profile on for Employer Insights into career opportunities at Intel

Emphasising the importance of skill development, Fiona Hartley, executive director, SOLAS, said that the organisation “sees skills as an insulator against unemployment”. She said the manufacturing maintenance technician skills programme “is an excellent example” of the SOLAS integrated services strategic plan that is ensuring further education and training is “responsive to the emerging needs of employers and candidates”. Level 5 and 6 skills are an important intermediate step to higher skill development, said Hartley.

Minister English described the initiative as “the type of positive education and training partnership that this Government has long encouraged and promoted, particularly in the ICT sector.” Skill reliant 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.”

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."

Peter Davitt, CEO, FIT, highlighted the opportunity in advanced manufacturing, citing 5.6% growth per anum in manufacturing, as well as the IDA valuation of exports from manufacturing of €78 billion in 2012. Mr. Davitt said the key to such initiatives in further education and training was collaboration between industry, certification and training bodies. Only with such collaboration are the best outcomes achieved and new opportunities created".

Visit the Fastrack to IT (FIT) website for contact information and full details of available programmes.

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

The CareersPortal Team