Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

Progress on an Apprenticeship Centre for Roscommon

November 21, 2023

Progress on an Apprenticeship Centre for Roscommon

Senator Aisling Dolan welcomed an update from Minister Simon Harris on the GRETB proposal for an apprenticeship centre for Roscommon town. The Seanad commencement matter with Senator Aisling Dolan and Senator Eugene Murphy highlighted the need and demand for apprenticeships in County Roscommon.

 The Fine Gael Senator stated

“Today in Seanad Éireann, Minister Simon Harris has indicated clear support for an apprenticeship centre in County Roscommon. There is significant demand in our region as there is currently no apprenticeship centre in the county. This will bring jobs and enterprise to Roscommon”

“ GRETB have submitted a proposal to SOLAS the national agency over Further Education & Training for a two & half acre site in the heart of Roscommon town. This is a fantastic site in terms of a central location, easy bus & rail access for the whole county and surrounding counties as well as existing workshop buildings which could be repurposed.”

“We need to see access to apprenticeship programmes for people in towns and villages in Ireland. School leavers or career changers could take up any of 70 courses currently on offer from auctioneering, biomedicine, farm management as well as traditional craft & trades. There is such a demand – speak to anyone and they will say they can’t find tradespeople, carpenters, electrician, and we have long wait times in Roscommon for retrofitting and the warmer homes scheme. Students can do to NFQ Level 5, 6 to degree or postgrad and it brings employment jobs to local areas.”

“To acknowledge the work of Chief Executive David Leahy & GRETB Chairperson and ETB Ireland Chairperson Michael Maher who came to Leinster House to meet with public representatives and highlight the importance of this proposal for the region.”

“I would like to thank my Seanad colleague Senator Eugene Murphy on this joint commencement topic and the support of local public representatives and Councillors on the board of GRETB and across Co. Roscommon.

“We look forward to welcoming Minister Simon Harris to visit Roscommon town with department and SOLAS officials and to meet with the GRETB board and staff. We have an excellent opportunity to have a world class apprenticeship centre in Roscommon town.

 Minister Simon Harris stated

“The National Skills Bulletin published today highlights the shortages our country is facing. It is crucial & fundamental to our country to provide skills needs and different pathways in education”

“I thank Senator Aisling Dolan, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Further & Higher Education and Senator Eugene Murphy for bringing this commencement topic on the need for an apprenticeship centre in County Roscommon.

“ GRETB have submitted a business case to expand capacity in County Roscommon. This will be reviewed against a number of requirements including National Apprenticeship Requirements, Climate-focused Estates Planning and the public spending code.”

“ SOLAS have met with GRETB and a recommendation will be submitted to my department for review. I am excited to see this exciting opportunity for Roscommon and I look forward to visiting the county”