An agreement has been made between the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), that will see up to 200 electrical apprentices progress through to a third-level engineering degree.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed as part of a series of initiatives to increase the number of electrical engineering graduates. It will see a class of 35 commence their formal four-year course in September 2011 and the ESB has committed to fund up to 50 apprentices through the college course.
ESB chief executive Padraig McManus said there was a severe shortage of engineering graduates emerging from third-level colleges and this programme will provide a golden opportunity for anyone taking part.
Engineering graduate shortage
"In spite of the current economic recession, companies like ESB must continue to plan for the long-term. We are witnessing a serious shortage of engineering graduates but this educational initiative will have a real and practical impact in terms of supplying the market with qualified personnel to build critical infrastructure and develop our economy.
"The programme also provides tremendous opportunities for those people on the course who will gain engineering degrees," he said.
The apprentices embarking on the degree course were first recruited by ESB in September 2009.