Murphy announces Assured Skills Academy in welding at South West College

Date published: 22 March 2024

Economy Minister Conor Murphy has announced a further Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy at South West College (SWC).

Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy at South West College.
Assured Skills Collaborative Welding Academy at South West College.

Funded by the Department for the Economy, SWC is offering an opportunity for 12 individuals to receive industry standard welding training that will provide them with the skills they need to take up potential welding roles with companies in Dungannon and the surrounding local area.

Commenting on the Academy, Economy Minister Conor Murphy said: “I am pleased to announce this further Assured Skills Welding Academy delivered by South West College. People with welding skills are in high demand in our local engineering and manufacturing sector as demonstrated by the number of local companies supporting these Academies.

“My economic vision is that we can improve living standards through the creation of good jobs and ensure that opportunities created by a growing economy are accessible to all our people, wherever they live. This Assured Skills Welding Academy will equip participants with the skills they need, through an industry-recognised qualification, and position them very strongly to kick-start a new career in a much sought after occupation.

“No previous experience in welding is required and participants will receive a £175 weekly training allowance for the duration of the Academy as well as help with travelling and childcare costs and I would urge anyone who is interested to apply.”

Ciaran McManus, the Director of Development and Support at South West College, expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, stating: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with DfE and a range of local employers to offer this fantastic opportunity for people to learn the skills needed to start a rewarding career in welding."

He further emphasised the importance of engineering as a major sector of employment in the south-west region, highlighting the college's commitment to collaborating with local employers to attract, develop, and nurture new talent. Ciaran sees the new pre-employment Assured Skills Academy as a testament to this commitment, providing a valuable opportunity for local individuals to acquire new skills and potentially secure employment offers.

He concluded by encouraging those interested and eligible to apply for the programme, underlining its potential to open doors to fulfilling careers in welding for participants.

Successful applicants will attend a six-week intensive training course delivered by SWC at their dedicated training facility in Cookstown where they will study ETCAL Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and Certified Abrasive Wheels Training.

Following completion of the training, participants will be guaranteed an interview to take up a welding position at one of the seven supporting companies.

The Academy will be delivered from Monday 13 May to Friday 21 June 2024.

More information on eligibility and details on how to apply can be found on the Welding Academy page of the nidirect website.

The online application form must be completed by 12 noon on Friday 12 April 2024.

For further information please email your enquiry to

Notes to editors: 

1. The supporting companies are:

  • Four Dee NI
  • Nugents
  • RM Group
  • Specdrum
  • TEREX (Cookstown)
  • Turco Engineering
  • Truck and Trailer Works

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

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

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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