Lyons announces latest Assured Skills Academy in welding at South West College

Date published: 07 December 2021

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today launched the penultimate Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy in a series of seven academies at South West College, with 12 training places.

 Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy at South West College, with 12 training places.
Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy at South West College, with 12 training places.

As with the previous five Academies, this latest Assured Skills Collaborative Academy will see successful applicants receive industry-standard welding training, during a six-week course at South West College’s industrial training facility in Cookstown.

Announcing the opportunity, the Minister said:

“The Mid Ulster area has a strong and resilient manufacturing and engineering sector which makes an important contribution to our economy. This collaborative approach between South West College and local engineering companies, underlines my determination to develop the skills that are needed in this area.

“Assured Skills Academies position participants very favourably to kick-start a new career by providing them with the skills they need, through an industry-recognised qualification and no previous experience in welding is required – I urge anyone who is interested to apply.”

Highlighting the important role played by the Assured Skills Academies, the Minister continued:

“My Department’s Assured Skills programme has a successful track record of getting participants on these Academies into employment. The Academies also provide a pipeline of skilled people for local employers who have consistently highlighted the opportunities for people with welding skills in the area. This financial year we plan to deliver 16 Collaborative Welding Academies offering approximately 200 training places with further education colleges and companies across Northern Ireland.

“Since the Collaborative Welding Academies started in April 2018, 188 people have participated on the Academies and of those, 141 were successfully upskilled and 114 secured employment.

“Despite the challenges for businesses during the pandemic, last year, Assured Skills delivered 27 academies, 508 participants were upskilled and 470 gained employment in 2020/21.

“This year a total of over 40 academies are planned and so far 221 people have been upskilled with 207 gaining employment to kick-start their careers in areas such as financial services, IT and manufacturing.”

Participants who complete the Academy are guaranteed an interview for a welding position at one of 18 companies in Dungannon and the surrounding area.

Participants on the Academy will study ETCAL Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and Certified Abrasive Wheels Training.

Ciaran McManus, Assistant Chief Executive of South West College, said: “South West College is committed to working in partnership with the Department and local industry to design and deliver high quality training interventions which prepare participants to take up employment in the engineering and manufacturing sector.”

Applications are open now and close at noon on 31 December 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the nidirect website Assured Skills page.

Training for successful applicants will commence on 24 January and run until 4 March 2022.

Notes to editors: 

1. The participating companies are:

  • Bruce Engineering Services – Cookstown
  • MG Quarry Plant - Dungannon
  • Burrows Engineering  - Dungannon
  • Moyle Engineering - Dungannon
  • Crossland Tankers – Swatragh
  • Muldoon Transport Systems - Dungannon
  • Edge Innovate (NI) – Dungannon
  • Nugent Engineering - Dungannon
  • Ezystak Manufacturing – Coalisland
  • Specdrum - Dungannon
  • Four Dee NI – Magherafelt
  • Terex - Dungannon
  • J & B Engineering – Dungannon
  • Toddsleap Racking & Shelving - Ballygawley
  • Keystone Lintels – Cookstown
  • Truck and Trailer Works – Dungannon
  • Mallaghan Engineering – Dungannon
  • Turco Engineering - Cookstown

2. Assured Skills is a pre-employment training programme run by the Department for the Economy. More information is available on the department's website

3. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

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4. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at .

5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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