GMIT Letterfrack Industry Forum, Galway January 23rd, 2020

GMIT Letterfrack hosted an Industry Placement meeting on January 23rd. The purpose of the event was to get feedback from industry on GMIT’s plans to roll out a year-long student Industry Placement in 2020 and to explore emerging opportunities for funded education programmes. In attendance were 14 representatives from different SMEs from a cross section of the industry.

During the event, there was lots of opportunities for company representatives to meet and discuss areas of mutual interest. This was another example of the importance and value of collaboration between industry and education providers an area in which IWFMN is proactive.

GMIT gave an overview of their new programmes specialising in:

· Furniture Design and Manufacture,

· Architectural Joinery

· Digital Manufacturing.

A central pillar to the programmes is an extended year-long Industry Placement and a move towards online delivery. Industry representatives were given an overview of the value of Industry Placement to students and industry, the challenges involved and the learning requirements for students. At a time of a widening skills gap, extended placements will be a welcome boost to companies struggling to recruit skilled employees.

While students are on Placement, they will also be engaged with some online learning remotely - a new development for GMIT and one to watch for the future as flexible and on-the-job learning develops!

During the meeting a skills and training analysis for the sector was carried out. Participants were asked to review their company’s skills needs under four headings –

· People

· Future

· Technical

· Business Development

GMIT will work with Western Regional Skills Forum to compile an analysis of the outcome of this

review and the information gathered will help to inform Regional Skills Fora policy on future skills

needs within the sector.

Opportunities to develop specialised programmes funded through Springboard+ and the Human Capital Initiative were also discussed. An exciting development is the funding of a Research and Education Outreach Manager for GMIT through Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Technology Cluster Fund which

will help develop further opportunities for our industry.

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