Thursday, 8 July 2021
Department of Education and Skills
Further and Higher Education
25. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if, on the basis that one of Europe’s largest off-shore windfarms is planned for development off the Clare coast, he will give consideration to developing a centre of excellence for skills and training in the renewable energy sector in County Clare. [36589/21]
The growth of the renewable energy sector is critical to meeting our Climate Action targets and I am committed to ensuring that the education and training system is appropriately positioned to support the growth and the development of the skills required to support the sector into the future.
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs is currently undertaking a study of the skills required to meet the demands of the Low Carbon Economy. This includes identifying the required skills and quantifying the demand for those workers involved in wind energy over the coming 10 year period. This study is expected to be published in late Q3 and will inform a structured skills response which will seek to meet the required demand over the coming decade.
In the interim, the education and training sector is already working collaboratively with the wind industry to ensure that their needs are being met. Kerry Education and Training Board (ETB) deliver a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering - Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance. Kerry ETB is also the coordinating provider for the development of an apprenticeship in Wind Turbine Maintenance. The Green Tech Skillnet also provides training opportunities in wind energy both for those working in the industry and for people looking to enter the wind industry.
There is no doubt that this is a growth area and one which is vitally important to Ireland’s future. I want to make sure that we have the most appropriate structures in place to support industry and to offer opportunities to learners of all ages to enter into this exciting industry which is playing a very important role in ensuring that Ireland meets its renewable energy objectives.