The Government initiative is addressing high priority enterprise skills needs such as science, engineering, ICT and professional construction
More than €1.2m has been announced for 142 additional places across six undergraduate courses at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in key skills areas as part of the Government’s Human Capital Initiative (HCI).
Pillar Two of the HCI is a key part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland strategy and its focus on enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent.
New and existing courses
There will be 71 additional places created each year (over two years) across six courses. Eight places will be created on the new Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Business Information Systems. Existing courses where additional student places will be created include: BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (16), BSc in Multimedia Applications Development (12), Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (10), BSc in Information Technology (15), BSc in Software Systems Development (10).
More than 2,100 first year students registered for 2019/2020 academic year at WIT. Dr Derek O’Byrne, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar at WIT welcomed the opportunity to further expand numbers on the institute's 70 CAO courses. “We welcome these additional places in fields that have high demand for graduates and where graduates have high earning potential. The places will further enhance the regional skill base and make the south east attractive as a place for industry.”
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. announced the 3,000 new places on 138 full-time undergraduate courses in higher education institutions for autumn 2020 and 2021. The new university and college places have been awarded to 22 higher education institutions following a competitive call for the expansion of existing courses in key skills areas.
High priority enterprise skills
Third level institutions have been backed by Government to address key areas which have been identified as high priority enterprise skills needs such as science, engineering, ICT and professional construction.
Minister McHugh said: “This is the Human Capital Initiative and Government investment of more than €24 million at work – creating more and better opportunities for students on courses that help to answer challenges of the future.
“We know where the demands are for highly educated, qualified graduates. And this investment is responding directly to that need. There is a future focus to many of the courses, like robotics and intelligent devices, digital healthcare, building services and renewable energy.
“Government is looking to tomorrow; our education system is backing the vision; and our universities and colleges are answering the call to prepare students with better skills for a changing world of work. This investment is a key part of the Government’s strategy, under Future Jobs Ireland.”
Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “At this time of year, when our Leaving Cert students are deciding which courses to select for their CAO applications I am delighted to be able to announce almost 3,000 additional places on 138 courses over the next two years.
“This generation will cope with more complex problems than any before them. Our students deserve the widest choice and the best opportunities to help prepare them for the future. I am determined that we will continue to develop our programmes and work with enterprise to ensure that our graduates are among the best prepared and equipped to meet our future challenges.”
For each extra place that is provided on target courses, higher education institutions will be allocated €2,500 in additional funding
Funding for the HCI is being provided from the surplus in the National Training Fund (NTF) in line with recommendations contained in the independent review of the NTF on the use of the surplus and the development of labour market skills.