*Photograph: Brian Arthur

Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board today announced an investment in the region of over €1bn at the launch of its new five-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.

Monday’s launch took place at Shannon Airport, County Clare, 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 (FF), 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”.

Musical entertainment at the launch included a performance from pupils of Gaelscoil Donncha Rua, Shannon, who participate in the Kids Ceol programme with Music Generation Clare, one of three Local Music Education Partnerships the ETB is responsible for in the region. An ensemble of students from Mungret Community College, an ETB post-primary school in Limerick, also performed a medley of songs during the launch.

Shelagh Graham, Director of Organisation Support and Development, highlighted the significance of partnership in developing the new 5-year plan. “This strategy sets out our commitment to ensure we deliver the highest possible standard of service to our partners and provide pathways to our education and training programmes, to our youth work and to the fulfilment of our statutory functions over the period 2022 – 2026”.

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