UiPath backs first automation school in Ireland

19 May 2021

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The partnership with Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board will help prepare workers as automation becomes more prevalent.

Ireland has got its first school of automation with an initiative supported by tech firm UiPath.

The programme aims to train workers around automation software to equip them with the skills needed in this rapidly developing area.

UiPath has partnered with Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and the ABP School of Automation to deliver this training programme, which will be based around the Limerick and Clare region. It follows a similar initiative launched last year in Scotland.

The training will guide students through the skills needed to develop software robots like virtual assistants or tools that automate repetitive tasks – all major parts of UiPath’s business.

The pilot will see 30 people will take part in a traineeship programme, which does not require existing coding expertise, for 18 months. It is open to those over the age of 16 and people on social welfare.

“The school will create a new generation of RPA [robotic process automation] developers with vocational and life skills that are highly sought after,” Marc Cooper, chief executive of ABP School of Automation, said. “Automation is going to change the way we work forever, for the better, and we need people with the expertise to support that.”

Automation is expected to take on a greater role in all industries. A report from Forrester Consulting last year found that nearly half of businesses plan to increase their investment in robotic process automation.

UiPath has been one of the leading forces behind the burgeoning robotic process automation industry. Its software is used by enterprises to automate various tasks to free up staff for other more important functions. In Ireland, its software is used by the HSE and the Mater Hospital.

“We’re supporting the launch of the School of Automation in Ireland to help fill a genuine need for democratising the skills of the future of work,” Mark O’Connor, public sector director for Ireland at UiPath, said.

“This is a unique, growing initiative to train and upskill students to create software robots that are becoming ubiquitous in the workplace.”

UiPath, which was founded in Romania and is now headquartered in the US, recently went public through an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The company raised $1.3bn in the listing.

“This traineeship is responding to changes in the way we work, learn and do business and will prepare employees for the future as the world of work is transformed by mega-trends such as globalisation and digitalisation,” Paul Patton, director of further education and training at Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, added.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin