The fourth cohort of graduates from a unique course in Polymer Processing, delivered jointly by IT Sligo and Athlone Institute of Technology, were conferred on the 30th October at the annual conferring ceremony at IT Sligo. (The very first cohort graduated in November 2011).
The BEng in Polymer Processing was designed in 2009 in collaboration with First Polymer Training Skillnet to address what was a growing shortage of skills in the polymer (plastics) area. The degree was designed after a series of meetings with the networks steering group, industry groups and selected member companies, as well as a comprehensive survey of the skills needs of the industry which determined that there was an ‘urgent’ need to address this skills shortage.
The course demonstrates the value of open and constructive engagement between industry and academic institutions. This is the only qualification of its kind currently available on the island of Ireland and is delivered online, chiefly as a distance learning programme, with some practical sessions scheduled throughout the year.
The Polymer industry is an important manufacturing industry in Ireland, with an annual turnover of €1,986 million.
Part- funding for the programme was provided by Skillnets via First Polymer Training Skillnet.
Each of the graduates present on the day was presented with a graduation memento, on behalf of First Polymer Training Skillnet and Plastics Ireland.