Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has announced the purchase of major new training facility for Galway Roscommon ETB.
The Cambridge Building, in Mervue Business Park, Galway City, extends to a gross external area of 36,769 sq ft, and will almost double the number of spaces available for apprentices in training workshops and classrooms.
Speaking about the purchase, Minister Harris said, “I am delighted to make this announcement as it ties in perfectly with my department’s Apprenticeship Action Plan to deliver 10,000 new apprentice registrations per year by 2025. Since I became Minister, I’ve been privileged to visit many ETB centres across the country, and I’ve seen first-hand how hard staff, employers and learners are working to train people with the skills that Ireland urgently requires to meet its societal and economic needs.“
“However, I have also seen that many of these ETBs are operating in difficult conditions, and it is the responsibility of Government and my department to ensure the facilities are put in place so that each ETB can give apprentices the best possible chance of success. The Galway Roscommon ETB is a perfect example of one which was at full capacity and unable to meet demand. I firmly believe the Cambridge Building will help provide that much-needed space, and help us meet the increasing demand for apprenticeship places in the region.”
The Cambridge Building, which has been purchased at a cost of €5,164,250, is adjacent to the current GRETB Training Centre and FET Headquarters in Galway City.
The facility will provide new craft workshops for Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry & Joinery, Metal Fabrication and Pipefitting, with associated classrooms and flexibility to deliver more FET fulltime/part-time programs in the future. The apprenticeship workshops can be converted into other trades as required.
This will lead to an increase in training capacity from the current level of 216 apprentices per year to over 400 apprentices per year, with potential to increase to over 600 apprentices per year.
David Leahy, Chief Executive of Galway and Roscommon ETB, said, “the acquisition of this additional space is an important strategic development for GRETB in Galway City in particular. It allows us to respond to the growing demand for further education and training, including apprenticeships, in the region.”
“We can continue to develop important synergies with our existing FET centres in the city, creating opportunities for learners to progress their further education and training journey with GRETB across our full-time and part-time services. Access to a FET College of the Future in the Galway and Roscommon region is central to the strategic vision for the FET department in GRETB. This brings us another step closer to realising that vision.”