Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has announced a significant capital investment in Carrick-on-Suir Further Education and Training Centre.
The centre is a key project that forms part of the first phase of projects to be advanced under the national Further Education and Training (FET) Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund (SIUF).
The project will upgrade existing FET facilities but also expand the college to include new apprentice workshops, and a new woodwork room/cutting shed. The new build will provide increased capacity for up to 300 learners, and develop significant provision options in apprenticeship, traineeship and skills-based training.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Today signifies a special day in my department’s commitment to supporting and enhancing capital infrastructure in the further education and training sector across the country and in particular here in Tipperary.
“This significant capital project in Carrick-on-Suir will enhance Further Education and Training services in the centre by upgrading existing infrastructure and provide for additional accommodation.
“I want to acknowledge the vision and commitment of Tipperary Education and Training Board in getting us to this stage with this project.
“This investment will ensure that learners and staff will have a fit for purpose facility which will provide access, transfer and progression opportunities for all students.
“It will play a key role in achieving the wider geographical and strategic vision Tipperary Education and Training Board have for a Carrick-on-Suir Further Education and Training College.”
Funding for this project will be provided through SOLAS to Tipperary Education and Training Board. The project announced today will now move forward to the appointment of a design team, with a view to development of a more detailed project brief in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
CEO of SOLAS, Andrew Brownlee, said: “Further Education & Training has a unique and special value both for learners and for our communities – and learners and communities in Carrick-on-Suir deserve cutting edge facilities and equipment. This announcement of capital funding is a welcome step that will mean that FET facilities there reflect the modern, dynamic nature of FET provision in 2022.
“The ambitious scale of vision set out in the national FET strategy, Future FET: Transforming Learning, is being met by suitably ambitious investment. This funding will enable nationally coordinated and strategic action that will form the foundation of FET Colleges of the Future; greatly expand capacity; build up our national skills portfolio; strengthen pathways through and from FET; and most importantly, best serve the FET learners of today and tomorrow.
“This investment in capital is an investment in the future of FET – and most importantly, an investment in the future of the many learners in the Tipperary region that it will directly benefit.”
Bernadette Cullen, Chief Executive of Tipperary ETB, said: “The inclusion of Carrick on Suir as one of the 13 projects funded by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris is a significant step forward in the long term strategic plan for the Further Education and Training College of the future in County Tipperary.
“It will enable Tipperary Education and Training Board to upgrade the facilities and expand the provision of full and part time programmes from Levels 1-6 on the National Qualifications Framework. We would like to acknowledge and thank the Minister, his department, and SOLAS for their support of Tipperary Education and Training Board for this project.”