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Skills development

Talent development and skills continues to be an ongoing issue for members and as such we have dedicated significant resources to ensure we are maximising opportunities to win funding across the various funding agencies on your behalf. These include Skillnets Ireland, SOLAS and the HEA. Each of our six networks has a dedicated network manager and industry steering committee and are here to meet your training needs.


1. Irish Medtech Skillnet
Since 2008, the Irish Medtech Skillnet has been a major driver of upskilling in the medtech and engineering sectors in Ireland. It is funded by Skillnet Ireland through the National Training Fund and contracted to the Irish Medtech Association, an Ibec sector. The network has received over €3.7 million of government funding over the past 9 years and has trained over 8,900 employees by end of 2017. The Irish Medtech Skillnet provides opportunities to develop and deliver both new and existing training programmes. It offers training to companies of all sizes across key areas such as lean, additive manufacturing, innovation and regulation as well as highly strategic sectoral programmes developed for middle and senior management. The network also provides opportunities to assist with company specific training events. It has developed 14 specialised programmes for the sector from level 5 to Masters including MOR Operational Excellence Model, Product Development Assessment Model and a Futures Skills report. In 2017, the network developed a level 8 Validation programme and an Additive manufacturing programme. They are presently working on a competency model and a commercial model for the medical technology sector.

Contact: Irish Medtech Skillnet
Michelle Reinecke-Quain
Irish Medtech Skillnet Executive
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit website: www.irishmedtechskillnet.ie


2. Connected Health Skillnet
Connected Health Skillnet (formerly Internet of Medical Things Skillnet) was established in 2017 to address the current and future skills needs arising from the convergence of the medtech, pharma, ICT and software sectors in the field of connected health. We offer high quality, cost effective training and cross-sectoral networking opportunities to support innovation and collaboration between these sectors. The Connected Health Skillnet is for companies of all sizes who are planning to add connectivity to current products and services or developing new connected health or smart products and services. The network operates in partnership with Irish Medtech Association, Technology Ireland and BioPharmaChem Ireland.

Contact: Connected Health Skillnet
Jennifer McCormack
Connected Health Network Manager
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit webpage: www.connectedhealthskillnet.ie

3. First Polymer Training Skillnet
Initiated by Polymer Technology Ireland (Ibec) in 1999, First Polymer Training (FPT) Skillnet operates as an enterprise -led training network, co- funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. The network has developed a dedicated technical training facility in Athlone, which houses leading edge machinery used to deliver high quality, skills based training to polymer processors in the medtech, automotive and manufacturing sectors. It is strongly supported by a voluntary steering group of key industry leaders, stakeholders and member companies and has trained over 7,000 employees to date. A multi-award-winning training provider, FPT has developed over 20 QQI accredited programmes including injection moulding, extrusion, materials, plastic part design, mould design, PLCs and a range of maintenance and lean programmes. New or tailored programmes can be designed and delivered to meet individual company needs and most programmes offered are also available on site.To date the network has made a significant contribution to addressing skills shortages within the sector, by initiating and co-developing polymer certificate and degree programmes with Sligo Institute of Technology. These are delivered primarily online and subsidised with Skillnet Ireland funding, making them very accessible and cost effective to employers.

Contact: First Polymer Training Skillnet
Catherine Collins
First Polymer Skillnet Network Manager
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit website: www.firstpolymerskillnet.com


4. Irish Medtech Springboard
Responding to the national demand for quality and regulatory engineers across Ireland’s medical technology sector, Ibec’s Irish Medtech Association, has been successful for the 6th year and approved for €503K government funding to upskill 90 engineers/technicians/ scientists for high demand roles. Over the past 5 year, we have received over €1.6m government funding by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Springboard + initiative and trained over 300 technicians/ engineers to work in the sector. The courses are delivered by blended learning and as demand for courses are high, we may limit places to one person per site. In addition, for Springboard + 2018, there is a 10% cost for employed trainees. Approved programmes 2018: Bachelors in Quality and Regulatory Affairs level 8 60 ECTS, 1 year accelerated programme (for persons holding a level 7 only qualification STEM) 30 places. Cost to employed €690.0 and Certificate in Quality Engineering level 8 combined with a Diploma in Professional Competence level 6 (1 semester) for persons with a level 7 that wish to Upskill or convert to Quality roles 60 places, Cost to employed €494.0

Contact: Irish Medtech Springboard
Shane Beirne
Irish Medtech Springboard Executive
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit website: www.irishmedtechspringboard.ie


5. Manufacturing Apprenticeship
Developed by the Ibec’s Medtech & Engineering Consortium and launched in 2017 by Minister Halligan, the manufacturing apprenticeship programmes allow companies an unrivalled opportunity to grow and develop their talent pipeline and drive business growth into the future. The Manufacturing Technician and Manufacturing Engineering apprenticeship programmes offer higher certificate and degree awards over a 2 and 3 year period. The apprenticeship programme is a blended combination of 70% on-the-job employer-based training and 30% off-the-job training. The focus is on cognitive skills (thinking, learning, reasoning) and metacognitive skills (planning, problem-solving, monitoring, self-assessing), as well as the “hard” technical skills required by engineers and technicians. Companies can either upskill existing employees or attract young school leavers and grow their own talent. A pass leaving cert is required as the minimum entry requirement but if the apprentice is over 23 they are exempt.

Contact: Manufacturing Apprenticeships
Shane Beirne
Manufacturing Apprenticeship Executive
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit website: www.manufacturingapprenticeships.ie


6. Polymer Technology Apprenticeship
Developed by the Ibec’s Plastics Ireland Consortium and launched in 2017 by Minister Halligan, the polymer apprenticeship programme allows companies an unrivalled opportunity to grow and develop their talent pipeline and drive business growth into the future. Polymer Processing Technology apprenticeship programme offers a degree by apprenticeship over a 3 year period. It is delivered by a blended combination of 70% on-the-job employer-based training and 30% off-the-job training. The programme focusses on applied principles of polymer processing technologies in injection, blow and extrusion moulding and the associated areas of materials and engineering science. The apprentice will have a comprehensive aptitude to define processing parameters and initialise polymer processing technologies. They offer individuals a unique career opportunity to qualify as polymer technologists gaining invaluable hands on experience over a 3 year period while receiving a salary. A pass leaving cert is required as the minimum entry requirement but if the apprentice is over 23 they are exempt.

Contact: Polymer Technology Apprenticeship
Shane Beirne
Polymer Apprenticeship Executive
E: firstname.lastname@ibec.ie
Visit website: www.polymertechnologyapprenticeships.ie


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