Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (ETB) recently showed their commitment to the green economy as they attended the inaugural FET Green Skills Summit, hosted by SOLAS and Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).
The Summit was opened by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD, and took place in Wexford Council’s County Hall last week. Limerick and Clare ETB were in attendance at the Summit to hear perspectives from industry leaders in the green economy, and about the role Further Education and Training (FET) will play in meeting the increasing demand for green skills in Ireland.
There are currently over 50 green skills programmes being delivered by the 16 ETBs across Ireland, with a particular focus on construction, agriculture and technology sectors.
Director of Further Education & Training in Limerick & Clare ETB Paul Patton stated: “We in Limerick & Clare Education & Training Board are well positioned to meet the skills demands of the green economy and support our learners and trainees to access real career opportunities in this area. Our programmes include:
Skills to Compete – Environmental Studies
Loop Head/West Clare Sustainable Energy Project – CE
Environmental Health Related Fitness – Core Skills
Sustainable Gardening – Core Skills
At the Summit, a graduation also took place for Ireland’s first ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) Train the Trainer’ course. Graduates from Limerick and Clare ETB who completed the course included Christy Morgan, Ronan Lynch and Noel Beasley. Graduates in attendance were presented with their certificates by Minister Harris at the event. They will now work across the FET sector to train construction industry professionals in net-zero building processes, and the retro-fitting programme underway across the country.
Speaking about the Summit, Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS, said: “We planned the Summit to take a proactive look at the skills needs of industry and to explore how best further education and training can meet these needs. The Climate Action Plan published in 2021 has set ambitious targets for the decarbonisation of our economy and the transition to this new economy will require significant levels of skills across the country in a huge variety of sectors to come to fruition.
“At the Summit, we heard some great insights on how the further education and training sector can expand on the work we are already doing to equip people across Ireland with the right skills to contribute to the transition to a greener economy.”
Fiona Maloney, Director of Further Education and Training, ETBI added: “Ireland’s Education and Training Boards are ideally positioned to meet the skills demands of the green economy. We have over 50 green skills programmes delivered across our sector and NZEB Training Centres of Excellence in Waterford & Wexford and Laois & Offaly ETBs, with three more to follow in Limerick & Clare, Cork, and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETBs.
“We will work closely with our SOLAS colleagues to support the implementation of the Green Skills for FET 2021-2030 Roadmap, to ensure that our learners and trainees have the appropriate skills to both power Ireland’s green economy and access career opportunities.”