GMIT creates new Department of Engineering Apprenticeships

GMIT has created a new Department of Engineering Apprenticeships and has appointed James Boyle as the new head of department. The move comes in response to growing demand and in line with the Government’s recently launched Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021 – 2025.

James Boyle is an alumnus of Queen’s University Belfast, CIT (now MTU ), and GMIT. He worked in the electrical industry for 11 years before entering academia in 2016, joining GMIT in 2019. He is currently in the final stage of his PhD research in electrical and electronic engineering in Queen’s University Belfast. His research focuses on the integration of renewable energy into the electrical power system. His research is published in academic journals and international conferences. His most recent renewable energy publication won the Queen’s University Belfast EEECS Paper Award.

GMIT has been delivering apprenticeship courses in electrical and motor mechanics since it was established almost 50 years ago. The institute has invested significantly in its electrical workshop and laboratory facilities to cater for increased numbers on the electrical apprenticeship course from September this year, becoming one of the largest provider of electrical apprenticeship courses in the country.

“I’m delighted to be appointed head of Department of Engineering Apprenticeships," James Boyle said this week. "The creation of this new department reflects GMIT’s commitment to apprenticeship education and Ministers [Simon] Harris and [Niall] Collins’ action plan for apprenticeship.

“Apprenticeships are a great way for students to learn by doing," he added. "The practical, skills-based, learning approach of apprentice education means that graduates are ready for the workplace when they qualify in their disciplines. This is not only good for students, but also for employers.”

Head of the GMIT School of Engineering Professor Graham Heaslip, welcoming the recent launch of the new Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025, said: “The action plan is a momentous transformation in how apprenticeships will be delivered in Ireland, it is ambitious and commits to increasing the number of new apprentice registrations. We believe that learning by apprenticeship mode is a three-way win – for the learners, for companies, and also for us in GMIT.

“GMIT has a long and very proud tradition of delivering craft apprenticeship education and training and has been to the fore in delivering consortia-led degree apprenticeships. In recent years, the institute added apprenticeships in manufacturing engineering to the Engineering School curricula, and plans are under way to offer wood manufacturing and finishing apprentice courses at GMIT’s National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology in Letterfrack from September 2021.”

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