First Polymer Training, with a dedicated facility in Athlone, is celebrating a milestone occasion, as the centre, located in Blyry Industrial Estate, first opened its doors in 1999, twenty years ago.
First Polymer Training (FPT ) Skillnet was one of the first funded Skillnet Ireland networks established in 1999 by Ibec and industry partners and is training network for the polymers industry, funded by Skillnet Ireland and participating companies on a not for profit basis. The network is promoted by the industry body Ibec and has ninety companies in membership including leading plastics processors in a range of sectors from medtech to automotive.
The First Polymer Training in Athlone now houses state of the art polymer processing facilities with a wide range of programmes being offered at the centre or at company sites.
“We are delighted to be celebrating twenty years in Athlone. We have seen the polymer industry grow rapidly during that time and develop into a world class industry. Athlone and the midlands are a hotspot for polymer companies in Ireland and the technology is state of the art. It is amazing to see what these companies can do and compete on world markets from here in the heart of Ireland,” Catherine Collins, Manager of First Polymer Training, commented.
Since 1999, the centre has been successfully developing and delivering technical accredited training and driving the upskilling agenda for the polymer sector, training in excess of 7,500 people to date.
The Irish polymer industry consists over 200 companies with a combined annual turnover of €2.1 billion. The industry employs over 6,500 people and 77 percent of its output is exported to global markets.
First Polymer Training Skillnet joined in the twenty year celebrations at the inaugural Future Works National Summit in Dublin last week.
FPT is the sole provider of many of these QQI accredited polymer programmes which were developed as a progression route for those working in industry, including polymer processing, materials and design offered from Levels 5 to 8.