Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster MP, Francie Molloy at a recent meeting pressed Employment Minister Stephen Farry to provide additional engineering training facilities in the constituency..
Mr Molloy said:
“I met with Minister Farry last week to discuss,among other things, the shortage of skilled trainees to meet the needs of local engineering firms.
“South east Tyrone and Mid Ulster has over 150 engineering firms, many of which have indicated the need to recruit employees in other European countries because of the shortage of training provision locally to meet their needs.
“Given the increase in unemployment in the Mid-Ulster constituency due to the collapse of the construction industry there is a golden opportunity to provide ongoing training for new and existing employees in the engineering sector.
“Many of these local firms contribute to our growing export trade and deserve government attention to ensure the supply of a well-trained and skilled work force.
“I was encouraged that Minister Farry has committed to consult with the local South West College and Northern Regional College to review the current training provision.
“It is hoped that by identifying existing gaps in the present training curriculum and in consultation with local engineering companies, training programmes for both young people just entering the workforce and those recent and long-term unemployed seeking retraining can be devised.
“I believe that given the number of engineering companies in the Mid-Ulster constituency, many of whom are world leaders, that a case exists for the establishment of a training faculty of excellence dedicated to the sector to be located at one of the local college campus.”