Belmullet open evening for construction courses

GMIT Mayo is holding an open evening in the civic centre, Belmullet, for two construction courses and related funding opportunities on Tuesday, February 25, at 7 pm.

The courses are a BSc in Construction Management in Refurbishment and Maintenance and a BSc (Honours ) in Sustainable Building Technology.

The courses are offered by GMIT at their Castlebar campus and are open to mature applicants as well as school leavers.

The open evening event will provide information on the courses and funding available through the Community Gain Investment Fund, administered by Mayo County Council, which is open to Erris students, subject to the courses going ahead.

Many of the modules covered in these programmes have practical content and are designed to bring students up-to-date with current developments in the construction industry.

There is particular emphasis on surveying, CAD (computer aided drawing ), and renewable energy technologies.

Students can study the latest trends in energy conservation, sustainable building technology, project management, IT, land surveying and building - setting out techniques and new methods of contracts and procedures for awarding of projects.

Depending on the level of qualification required, students may exit after two years with a Higher Certificate (Level 6 qualification ), choose to continue for a third year and graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Level 7 ), and/or go on to complete a fourth year and graduate with an honours Bachelor of Science Degree (Level 8 ).

GMIT lecturer Mairead Ludden explained: “If you are interested in construction and new technologies emerging in the industry, this is an excellent opportunity to develop your skills, regardless of age or educational background. Over 80 mature students have graduated, or are currently studying on these two construction programmes in the Mayo campus, many of whom left school early, having not done their Leaving Cert.

“We are now seeking applicants for the 2014 courses and with sufficient numbers we hope to deliver part of the programme in Belmullet. Our students are typically mature, with construction and trades background. With a degree under their belt, doors to middle management positions will open and they’ll also have a global passport. Many of our graduates have moved their young families abroad and enjoy a good lifestyle in places such as New York, Canada and London,” added Ms Ludden.

PJ Healy from Belmullet is in third year of the Construction Management in Refurbishment and Maintenance course. “I have learnt so much already,” he said. “I have a trades background and now have a much better overall understanding of construction technology and management. My objective is to get a management position when I graduate, something that would have been almost impossible without a degree.”

Another student, Patrick Campbell from Ballycastle, is in second year of the same programme. “I have a background in plumbing. When I graduate I hope to work in a management position. The class sizes are small which is great, because it means all the lecturers know us by name, and it is a friendly atmosphere and easy to ask questions and get advice from the lecturers.”

Graduate Sean Biggins from Castlebar is currently working as a project manager with one of the largest construction companies in Canada - Clarke Builders, in Calgary. “When I started with them I was one of four Irish lads and we have 40 Irish now and are still hiring.

“I had a number of options regarding the type of position available to me within the company when I started due to my degree. At the end of the day money was key - field staff get paid more than office staff due to the pressure of dealing with trade and clients alike, also weather conditions of minus 40 degrees Celsius. My project is at the stampede stadium, Calgary. We are dealing with flood recovery. There was a big flood here in the summer. We are restoring five of the buildings and grounds on the site and completion date is June 2014. There is a senior superintendent and myself running the job with over 100 tradesmen and women working on site. On this site I am over the health and safety, directing the trades, manpower, and keeping track of workers hours for pay,” he explained.

Padraig Brogan, Mayo County Council, who is co-ordinating the event with GMIT in the Belmullet Civic Centre, said: “There is a great wealth of construction skills in Erris, and many of these are tradesmen who may be interested in upskilling to keep-up with the changing technologies in construction. All are welcome.”

For further information on the two GMIT construction programmes, please contact reception at GMIT Mayo, telephone (094 ) 902 5700 or email [email protected].


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