€2m investment to develop energy skills

26 Feb 2007

A vital step in Ireland’s contribution to the global drive towards environmental protection and the reduction in fossil fuels took place with the opening last week of a new training centre for Ireland’s energy workforce.

Some €2m is understood to have been invested in the Mountrath, Co Laois facility that will go on to train in excess of 2,700 energy workers.

The Midland Energy Training and Assessment Centre (METAC) is Ireland’s largest regional energy centre.

The purpose-built centre will involve a high degree of live and stimulated training that will replicate authentic work environments. The realism of the environment will equip workers with practical skills for the energy workforce.

The centre was opened on Friday by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD.

Dempsey said that the new venture not only facilitates the training of operators in the commercial gas and oil sectors but also new renewable and sustainable energy areas such as wood pellet boilers and solar panels.

“These are vital areas in the global drive towards environmental protection and reduction in the use of fossil fuels,” said Dempey.

METAC’s managing director Dominic Dunne said that the operation aims to become widely recognised as a contributor to the growth and economic prosperity of jobs in the energy sector.

“It will serve the needs of the energy sector in providing a highly skilled and certified workforce,” said Dunne.

“It will also take the lead in developing new industry practices aimed at conserving energy and providing better heating systems for the end user,” he added.

By John Kennedy