Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has described the progress being made on the renovation of the old Techniform unit on the Waterford Industrial Estate as transformational. The new state of the art facility will enable existing apprenticeship and training courses to be expanded and new courses to commence.
Senator Cummins said “I have been working with WWETB and my Fine Gael colleague Minister Simon Harris in relation to this project over a long period of time. The development received planning permission in July 2022 and work has been ongoing at a pace since. This project is essential to the governments apprenticeship ambitions, and I have no doubt that when the project is complete, it will prove invaluable in future proofing apprenticeship and training services in Waterford.”
Senator Cummins continued: “I want to thank Minister Harris for providing WWETB with the €8 million required to refurbish and fit out the old Techniform building. In addition, the Apprenticeship Unit in SOLAS are funding the pipefitting apprenticeship equipment element for the project at a cost of €333,889. This project is yet another vote of confidence by government in Waterford.”
The total floor area of the proposed development is 52,000 sq. ft and the building has capacity for 140 training places for apprenticeships and 250 adult learners annually in addition to 17 Instructors and capacity for up to 15 administration staff. The project involves the internal alterations to units 218 and 219 to accommodate technical workshops, classrooms, offices and associated facilities; a new extension to the front elevation of the building, roof mounted PV solar panels; boundary fencing and additional car/bicycle parking.
Senator Cummins added “The electrical, plumbing and pipefitting workshops will all be completed at various stages during Q4 2023; with the agricultural and heavy vehicle mechanics courses moving from their existing facility to this new facility in March next year”.
“WWETB have confirmed that when this project is completed, the combined footprint of the three Waterford Training Centre sites will mean Waterford will become the largest provider of craft apprenticeship training in the country. Three additional electrical courses will be provided, in addition to the existing course, and new apprenticeship places in both plumbing and pipefitting will be added. Forklift training will also be run from this new facility”.
Commenting on the development Minister Simon Harris said: “I want to thank my colleague and friend Senator John Cummins for his hard work and help in getting this project over the line. The country and each community is facing a challenge in terms of skills shortages. This investment is going to play a huge role in meeting that challenge and increasing the capacity Waterford has to train apprentices in the community.”
Senator Cummins concluded: “This is an exciting investment in Waterford and underpins the great work being done by both WWETB and SOLAS. I look forward to seeing the significant impact this project will have on the national effort to increase further training and apprenticeships across the region”