27 Sept 2022

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB show commitment to green economy at inaugural Green Skills Summit

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB show commitment to green economy at inaugural Green Skills Summit

Mayo Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (ETB) recently showed their commitment to the green economy as they attended the inaugural FET Green Skills Summit, hosted by SOLAS and Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI). The Summit was opened by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD, and took place in Wexford Council’s County Hall last week.

Representatives from Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB were in attendance at the Summit to hear perspectives from industry leaders in the green economy, and about the role Further Education and Training (FET) will play in meeting the increasing demand for green skills in Ireland.

There are currently over 50 green skills programmes being delivered by the 16 ETBs across Ireland, with a particular focus on construction, agriculture and technology sectors.

Commenting on their focus on green skills, Tom Grady Chief Executive of Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB (MSLETB), speaking about their SMART Driving programme and its benefits to employers & employees stated: “This course supports the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland Programme 2020 objectives by helping the Irish haulage industry to transition to a low carbon economy, upskilling drivers in driving technology, as well as improving SME and workforce productivity”. MSLETB worked in Collaboration with WWETB and with the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) to develop the programme. Mr Paul Jackman, Vice President of the IRHA, added “This programme will help drivers to get a better understanding of their modern working environment, vehicles and equipment thus helping drivers to drive and work in a safe and compliant manner, while using less fuel, thereby reducing both cost and emissions”.

On MSLETB’s “Future Skills Training Centre” currently being developed, Tom Grady said “This centre will provide upskilling opportunities for the existing built environment workforce, reskilling opportunities for others seeking careers in the growing retrofitting sector and the required number of retrofit training places to meet the level demand anticipated in the West and Northwest”.

Other initiatives include:

MSLETB are one of the collaborating partners that developed the Level 4 Micro Credential in sustainability delivering this programme across all FET programmes in the second half of 2022.
MSLETB will be seeking differential validation to deliver the L5 Micro Credential  Environmental Sustainability in the Workplace as part of their “Skills to Advance” offerings. This is in addition to the 50 Shades Greener Initiative which is being delivered to the Hospitality Sector throughout the region in 2022.

Graduates from Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB

At the Summit, a graduation also took place for Ireland’s first ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) Train the Trainer’ course. Basil Love, A graduate from Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB completed the course. Graduates in attendance were presented with their certificates by Minister Harris at the event. They will now work across the FET sector to train construction industry professionals in net-zero building processes, and the retro-fitting programme underway across the country.

Skills for the Future

Speaking about the Summit, Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS, said: “We planned the Summit to take a proactive look at the skills needs of industry and to explore how best further education and training can meet these needs. The Climate Action Plan published in 2021 has set ambitious targets for the decarbonisation of our economy and the transition to this new economy will require significant levels of skills across the country in a huge variety of sectors to come to fruition.

“At the Summit, we heard some great insights on how the further education and training sector can expand on the work we are already doing to equip people across Ireland with the right skills to contribute to the transition to a greener economy.”

Fiona Maloney, Director of Further Education and Training, ETBI added: “Ireland’s Education and Training Boards are ideally positioned to meet the skills demands of the green economy. We have over 50 green skills programmes delivered across our sector and NZEB Training Centres of Excellence in Waterford & Wexford and Laois & Offaly ETBs, with three more to follow in Limerick & Clare, Cork, and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETBs.

“We will work closely with our SOLAS colleagues to support the implementation of the Green Skills for FET 2021-2030 Roadmap, to ensure that our learners and trainees have the appropriate skills to both power Ireland’s green economy and access career opportunities.”

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