Unique masonry course gets green light

Longford’s Employment, Development and Information (EDI) Centre is set to become the host of the first ever masonry course of its kind in Ireland.

Longford’s Employment, Development and Information (EDI) Centre is set to become the host of the first ever masonry course of its kind in Ireland.

Following on from being issued a contract worth e199,500 from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the Longford Community Resources Centre Ltd (LCRL) will undertake the unique Building Conservation Skills and Training Construction Skills Course from early next year.

The contract was issued under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme to Longford Revamp Homes Ltd who in turn have handed training responsibilities to Longford town based Sweeney Architects.

The Fetac Level 5 course is a 40-week programme and is set to begin in the third week of January 2013.

Skills covered will include traditional roofing, stone work, masonry and lime plastering all of which, according to Chairperson of Longford Revamp Homes, Pat Kelleher will provide ample employment opportunities for those who partake in the course. He said: “There are no other courses similar to this in Ireland. This sort of training provides serious opportunities for those who enrole and even if trainees go abroad they will have skills they can market very easily.”

Speaking to the Leader last week, Project Coordinator Ursula Sweeney of Sweeney Architects, commented that Longford was the ideal choice for such a course to be based. “Here, we have St Mel’s and Connolly’s Barracks for example, two old buildings that will always need attention. This new course will provide people with the necessary skills to ensure the upkeep of so many of our older buildings.” It is also envisaged that the establishment of such a course would provide the local economy with a much needed jobs boost while t also opening the door to the possibility of a centre of excellence being established in Longford. Ursula concluded: “This a very exciting initiative. If Longford people have the skills, why would contractors go elsewhere to find workers with similar skill sets to those that we would already have here? This will also give those people an opportunity to gain employment elsewhere with other contractors.

There is no other course like this available in Ireland and why can’t we go on to establish a third level centre of excellence right here in Longford?” For further information call into the EDI Centre in the Mastertech Business Park on the Athlone Road , telephone 043-3347515