ATU to expand apprenticeship offerings in campuses across west and north-west

Thursday, December 14, 2023 Press Office
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Apprenticeship courses will be delivered in Killybegs and Castlebar for the first time ATU’s craft apprenticeship provision will reach 3,000 from 2024

Apprenticeship courses will be delivered in Killybegs and Castlebar for the first time
ATU’s craft apprenticeship provision will reach 3,000 from 2024

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is set to expand its apprenticeship offerings from next year (2024) following the announcement this week by Further and Higher Education Minister Simon Harris and Minister of State Niall Collins of €17 million in capital funding to respond to the growing demand for apprenticeships in the higher education sector. The national funding will be dispersed across four Technological Universities and one Institute of Technology to upgrade and develop spaces to deliver an additional 132 apprenticeship craft blocks. The additional capacity is required to meet the increase in apprentice registrations indicated by SOLAS in a number of trades. 

ATU will receive €8.2 million from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) while the university itself (ATU) is investing matched funding of just over €1.7 million, bringing the total ATU/HEA investment in apprenticeship expansion and delivery to circa €10 million. This will see the delivery of 51 additional apprenticeship blocks from 2024, amounting to 816 places of the total.

ATU Mayo will deliver 12 blocks of Electrical apprenticeships in its campus in Castlebar (192 places);
ATU Killybegs will deliver 18 blocks of Electrical apprenticeships (288);
ATU Letterkenny will deliver 6 blocks of Metal Fabrication apprenticeships (96) and 3 blocks of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprenticeships (48);
ATU Sligo will deliver 12 blocks of Electrical apprenticeships (192)
These figures will bring the overall apprenticeship craft training provision in ATU to circa 3,000 from next year (2024). 

Welcoming the funding, Professor Graham Heaslip, Head of School of Engineering, ATU Galway-Mayo, says “ATU has a long and successful history of apprenticeship delivery dating back to the 1970s. ATU Galway has been delivering Electrical and Motor Mechanics trades and in recent years in Wood Manufacturing and Finishing (ATU Connemara). ATU Galway is the national coordinator for the Manufacturing Engineering consortia-led apprenticeships which goes from strength to strength on an annual basis.  This investment reaffirms ATU’s strong commitment to expanding the apprenticeship provision across the region, from Galway to Donegal. For the first time apprenticeship courses will be delivered in Killybegs and Castlebar. These additional apprenticeship places will help us grow to meet the demands of Irelands growing apprenticeship population.” 

Úna Parsons, Head of ATU Sligo and Head of Faculty of Engineering & Design, says: “We have a strong reputation supporting industries in trades such as toolmaking (National Training Centre of Excellence), Electrical, and Carpentry & Joinery in the craft trades, and more recently the consortium led apprenticeships in Manufacturing Engineering as mentioned, Civil Engineering, Transport Operations and Commercial Driving, and Insurance Apprenticeships.”

Thomas Dowling, Head of Faculty of Engineering and Technology, ATU Donegal, says: “The facilities we are creating will be able to cater to higher number in the future in the case of Metal Fab and Refrigeration”. 

ATU will be recruiting lecturing staff and technicians to meet the requirements. It is planned that the new blocks will begin in September 2024.
For further information, see the ATU 2024 Prospectus: (Apprenticeships information on page 305).


Regina Daly, Atlantic TU Communications 
Tel: +353 (0)91 742826 Mob: +353 (0)879618355