Four apprentices from the Sligo, Leitrim Mayo Education and Training Board are competing in a national competition

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Four apprentices from the Sligo, Leitrim Mayo Education and Training Board are competing in a national competition

The apprentices working on their entry.

Four apprentices from the Sligo, Leitrim Mayo Education and Training Board (ETB)are part of an innovative national competition celebrating design, team-working and the problem-solving skills of Irish apprentices and are working to a deadline of April 6, 2018.

The competition, which is part of the Generation Apprenticeship campaign, involves teams of apprentices creating 6-foot, 3-dimensional A letters using a diverse range of design skills.

The team are all busy preparing for the competition in the ETB. The team and their employers include;

- Cian Talbot, Ian Clandillon Classic Motors, Celbridge, Co Kildare

- Roy Heyneman, Autotech Bodyshop Ltd, Poles, Dublin Road, Co Cavan

- Eric Desmond, Gaxo Smithkline Man Ltd, Currabinny, Carrigaline, Co Cork

- Garry O’Callaghan, Ace Control Systems Ltd, Unit 7, Ballincollig Enterprise Park, Link Road, Co Cork

Entries to the competition use materials and techniques to design and construct the 3-dimensional As including a range of moving parts, electronics, wood, metal, stone, piping, water and electrical circuits. In the commis chef apprentices’ entry they reflect on the colour and magic of their chosen careers. Each team is recording video diaries of their work over the coming weeks and posting updates on their progress via social media.

The team from the Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim ETB are building their 6-foot, 3-dimensional interpretation of the Apprenticeship ‘A’ using their own steel shell construction clad in a mild steel skin, utilizing symmetrical shapes to contrast the slants on the ‘A’. This will provide a home for live instrumentation equipment and level sensors which will control and direct a series of movements and lighting.

The entries will be exhibited in the Arts Garden and interior of the National College of Ireland and will be open to viewing by the public from 9th-30th April in the College, which has generously agreed to host the national competition in its first year. A gala awards ceremony will be held at the end of the exhibition to announce the winning entry which will become a permanent installation.

Mary-Liz said: “I was blown away by the energy, imagination and commitment on display, not to mention the craft and detailed work on show. The work is beautiful, skilfully finished and polished, but also ground-breaking in the way that each team has combined teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving to create their entries. This is something we want to highlight and apprentices from diverse backgrounds have so much to offer in this regard. These insights offer new possibilities about the role of apprenticeship, including for those thinking about a change in career or returning to work. Apprenticeship leads to consistent and continuous career paths.”

The competition aims to highlight the importance and value of apprenticeships as a route to skills development in 21st century Ireland. It will also highlight the strong tradition of craft-based apprenticeships and the new industries in which apprenticeships are now available, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, finance and hospitality.

In addition to receiving support from the Department of Education and Skills and SOLAS, the competition is being sponsored by ESB and the Construction Industry Federation. An independent judging panel will select the winning entry with reference to the competition criteria of design skills, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving.