Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today launched a new Automotive Electrician/Panel Builder Academy, under the Department’s Assured Skills initiative.

The Academy will provide 13 participants with the skills and experience required to take up new opportunities in the engineering sector with Mallaghan Engineering and Contak Wiring Systems in Dungannon.

Minister Farry said: “I am pleased to launch this new Automotive Electrician/Panel Builder Academy which will help address the skills needs for two local companies, Mallaghan Engineering and Contak Wiring Systems. The expansion of the engineering sector is key to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy. This Academy will ensure that local engineering companies have skilled people ready to secure employment with them.

“This is another excellent example of collaborative working between my Department, local employers, and the further education sector in response to the needs of industry. Interventions such as these are essential to provide the highly skilled workforce required to continue the growth of our local economy.”

The Academy will offer an intensive eight week training programme which has been designed to meet the specific needs of the companies by South West College. This will be followed by a four week company placement. Successful participants will gain industry recognised qualifications and be interviewed by the companies on completion.

Niall Mallaghan, Director at Mallaghan Engineering, said: “As an approved bodybuilder with the majority of our equipment being assembled on successful chassis brands such as Mercedes, Iveco, Scania and DAF, the need for Automotive Electricians/Panel Builders has become a critical issue for our company. The Academy model in partnership with South West College is an ideal programme that offers Mallaghan the opportunity to have people skilled for our sector in order to meet the advances of modern technologies.

“The Academy will essentially offer successful candidates the opportunity to work with a leading engineering firm in Northern Ireland and presents an excellent opportunity for candidate entrants to fast track their skills and credentials to ensure future employability in a sector where skills are in demand.”

Applications to the Academy will close on Friday 20 November 2015 at 4pm and the training programme for successful applicants will start on 4 January 2016. Training will be delivered by South West Regional College at its Cookstown Campus.

For further information and to submit an application, visit: https://auto.mindmill.co.uk/.

Notes to editors:

The Department for Employment and Learning is currently running the Skills to Succeed campaign encouraging the public and employers to find out more about the range of programmes and assistance that are available. You can find out more on nidirect: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/skills or by calling 0300 200 7876. Follow the “Skills to Succeed” campaign on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SkillstoSucceedni or on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dept-for-employment-and-learning-ni.

All media enquiries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7492. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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