North’s Economy Minister pays visit to LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE) in Dundalk MOUs signed between LMETB, Queen’s University Belfast and Southern Regional College

AMTCE developing and providing key advanced manufacturing skills to current and future employees on the Island of Ireland

Wed 22 May 2024 – Dundalk – In a significant move towards promoting high level advanced manufacturing skills and apprenticeship training across the Island of Ireland, the Louth Meath Education and Training Board’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE) in Dundalk received a high-profile visit from the North’s Economy Minister Deirdre Hargey.

It was an inaugural visit for the Minister to the world standard advanced manufacturing facility, emphasising the AMTCE’s pivotal role in the integration of advanced skills training on an All-Ireland basis.

The Minister was welcomed by Martin G. O’Brien, Chief Executive of LMETB and founder of AMTCE and Sadie Ward McDermott, Director of Further Education and Training at LMETB.

During the visit, the strategic significance of the AMTCE was highlighted, particularly its ambition to enhance and be a key stakeholder in the provision of advanced manufacturing skills on an All-Ireland basis.

“Our goal is for the AMTCE to be the leader in the development and provision of advanced manufacturing training interventions including, for example, Robotics and Automation Apprenticeship, Advanced Manufacturing Pathways Schools Programme, 3 D Construction Printing which leverages our geographical position to foster an All-Island approach” stated Martin O’Brien.

AMTCE’s role in facilitating high level advanced manufacturing skills training on an All-Island basis was further boosted by the signing of Memorandums of Understanding during the visit by Martin O’Brien, Chief Executive of LMETB and Sam Turner, Chief Executive, Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) at Queen’s University and Lee Campbell, Chief Executive of Southern Regional College (SRC), marking a significant step towards enhancing educational and training synergy and collaborative skills development on an All-Island basis.

Minister Hargey said, “Changing and improving the skills profile of the existing workforce will be key to delivering on the priorities set out in the Economic Vision. We need to work collaboratively across industry, government and the education sector to ensure we invest in and develop the skills that meet the needs of the emerging economy, supporting greater efficiency, productivity and better jobs for individuals.

“I welcome the positive impact this facility will make on young people, particularly those most marginalised, by developing and delivering more accessible education and training in advanced manufacturing technologies. I want to expand work between local and central government to support the development of industries with a strong regional presence, taking advantage of opportunities which can boost productivity performance, and emphasising the importance of collaborative planning to boost prosperity in our regions.”

Other attendees at the landmark event were Cllr. Wayne Harding, chair of LMETB, Andrew Brownlee, Chief Executive of SOLAS, Libby Shackles Director of Curriculum at SRC and Brendan Mackin, Chair of Portview Trade Centre in Belfast.

Substantial Cross Border initiatives already in train under the auspices of the LMETB-AMTCE include the first FET All-Ireland Robotics and Automation Apprenticeship programme, currently going through the approvement processes in both jurisdictions; the first cross-border advanced manufacturing pathways schools project, funded by the International Fund for Ireland; an Industry 4.0 Future Skills initiative currently being undertaken by LMETB-AMTCE in association with Queen’s University- AMIC and IMR (Irish Manufacturing Research) funded by InterTrade Ireland.

AMTCE was established in 2021 and supported by SOLAS and Enterprise Ireland to deliver hands-on skills-oriented training to underpin the transition of Irish enterprise to industry 4.0 based operations, with a focus on manufacturing, cybersecurity, pharma, food and drink, construction and engineering. The AMTCE uses outside industry experts for its courses, to ensure that the quality and focus of its training is always cutting edge www.amtce.ie