The Dundalk-based centre is building a pipeline of skilled workers to make Ireland a leader in Industry 4.0 and manufacturing.
The Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) has received €11m from the Government for its Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE).
Dundalk-based AMTCE is the largest advanced manufacturing training centre of its type in Ireland. Since its opening last year, it has aimed to respond to the challenges posed by Brexit and other threats to Ireland’s international competitiveness in industry.
The centre works to build a competitive pipeline of skilled workers through improving skill levels across many different advanced manufacturing techniques and applications. It is focused on ensuring Ireland can hold its own in industry 4.0.
This latest round of funding will be used to complete renovations, carry out external works, extend the centre and purchase new equipment, systems and software.
The centre is led by the CEO of LMETB, Martin O’ Brien. “It will deliver the necessary training to underpin the transition of Irish companies to industry 4.0 operations, leading to rewarding careers in advanced manufacturing and many other sectors,” he said of the centre’s work.
The AMTCE aims to be the strategic learning and training partner of choice to support the technology-driven transformation of a whole range of sectors, from construction and engineering to pharma and manufacturing.
Training facilities and equipment in the AMTCE include robotics and cobotics labs, welding, additive manufacturing, engineering workshop facilities, a state-of-the-art industry 4.0 training line as well as computer labs and virtual classrooms.
“We are also currently exploring other major projects like the development of cybersecurity, sustainability and green skills centres of excellence,” said O’Brien.
He said that all these initiatives will be established “in close collaboration with national and international partners.” LMETB has signed several agreements with key industry players, which will form the basis for the AMTCE’s continued expansion and reach across the EU and into the US, O’Brien concluded.
Earlier this year the centre inked a skills-related memorandum of understanding with Meath-based Irish Manufacturing Research.
As well as the AMTCE funding, the Department of Education is also funding a new headquarters for LMETB in Drogheda. An Electrical Apprenticeship Centre is also under development in Drogheda. The latter will see up to 2,000 apprentices trained there over the coming five years. Building works are due to commence in early December with the first apprentices starting in early spring of 2023.
The LMETB’s administrative offices in Navan will be changed into a Further Education and Training Centre early in 2023 following another multimillion-euro investment.
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