Published on December 11th, 2022 | by Mark Dwyer


Funding for National Centre of Excellence for Aviation in Shannon

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board has announced an investment in the region of over €1 billion as part of the launch of its new 5-year strategy. Setting out its vision to enhance the quality of learning and life in the region, Strategy Statement 2022 – 2026 outlines the role the ETB will play over the 5 years of the plan. This includes fulfilling the personal, social, economic and employability needs of the community it serves. The launch took place at Shannon Airport and was attended by the ETB Senior Management Team, ETB staff and invited guests, including Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins TD, and other public representatives.

Speaking at the launch, George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive, highlighted the role of the ETB with the investment, including rebuilding communities, workforces and the economy as we emerge from the pandemic: “The ETB’s investment in the region over the 5 years of this plan will be in excess of 1 billion euro, comprising of an annual operating budget of over 170 million euro and an investment programme in excess of 150 million euro in new schools and Further Education and Training campuses.”

With the launch taking place in Shannon, he also announced a significant investment in the area: “Part of the investment programme will be the development of a multi-million euro new College of Further Education and Training campus here in Shannon, incorporating a National Centre of Excellence for Aviation. Building on a vocational training commitment in Shannon that dates back over 50 years, the new campus will continue to progress highly successful links with our aviation partners both in the region and nationally. Our aircraft engine apprenticeship will also be expanded to include a helicopter engine apprenticeship.” He concluded by saying: “I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Department of Education, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, as well as SOLAS who will be providing the funding for this major investment.”

Pictured at the Strategy announcement were: Paul Patton, Director of Further Education & Training; George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive; Shelagh Graham, Director of Organisation Support & Development; and Donncha Ó Treasaigh, Director of Schools

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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