Two women working in manufacturing with machines wearing safety goggles and hard hats.
Image: © NVB Stocker/

New courses to address digital skills gap in Irish manufacturing

22 Jul 2022

Two new digital manufacturing courses, developed in consultation with industry, will commence in September at ATU.

Two new courses are looking to address the skills needs of Irish manufacturing companies that are transitioning from manual to automated processes. They have been launched by Cobotics Skillnet and Atlantic Technological University (ATU).

Cobotics Skillnet is a business support network for companies in the robotics and automation tech sector in Ireland. It is part of the Government agency Skillnet Ireland, which supports businesses across the country in upskilling their employees.

The first of the two new programmes from ATU and Cobotics Skillnet is a higher diploma focused on engineering in automation and digital manufacturing.

This course is targeted at employees who want to upskill or cross-skill in the areas of automation, robotics and digital manufacturing. The one-year programme aims to provide students with knowledge of robotic automation, advanced manufacturing and vision systems.

According to Dermot O’Neill, Cobotics Skillnet manager, the diploma “is a unique programme in this country” as it will give people the opportunity to transition into the advanced manufacturing and robotics sector.

“This addresses the immediate need to develop in-house talent as indicated by 16 Irish-based manufacturing companies who were involved in the design and development of the programmes,” O’Neill added.

The second programme is a bachelor of engineering degree in automation, robotics and digital manufacturing. It is aimed at employees who want to continue their progression in this area of advanced manufacturing.

Both of the new programmes will commence in September.

Tracey Donnery, director of policy and communications at Skillnet Ireland, said that the new accredited courses would “help companies deploy their automation strategies, enabling them to remain competitive on the global stage”.

Skillnet Ireland also recently collaborated with TU Dublin on a new manufacturing course for the pharmaceutical sector. It teaches participants the basics of powder handling using a customised VR platform.

For more information about the two new digital manufacturing courses, visit ATU’s website.

ATU was established earlier this year with the amalgamation of IT Sligo, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Letterkenny IT.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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