Murphy welcomes Assured Skills Academy in Robotics and Automation

Date published: 09 July 2024

Economy Minister Conor Murphy has welcomed the first in a series of three Collaborative Assured Skills Academies in Robotics and Automation to be delivered by South West College (SWC).

Maria Curran, Project Director at Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA), Padraig McNamee, Curriculum Director, SWC and Economy Minister Conor Murphy.
Maria Curran, Project Director at Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA), Padraig McNamee, Curriculum Director, SWC and Economy Minister Conor Murphy.

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

Commenting on the Academy, Economy Minister Conor Murphy said: “This Academy is an excellent opportunity for people to learn the skills needed for a career in Robotics and Automation and to potentially gain employment with one of a number of employers in the local manufacturing sector.

“Strengthening our local skills base will play a key part of our economic growth and my Department’s Assured Skills Academies have a proven successful track record in providing people with high quality training while helping employers access the skilled people they need to grow.

“This Assured Skills 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.

“With no previous experience required and a £52.50 weekly training allowance for the duration of the Academy, as well as help with travel and childcare costs I would urge anyone who is interested to apply.”

Padraig McNamee, Curriculum Director, said: “South West College is delighted to launch this Assured Skills Academy focused on Industry 4.0 technologies. This program will equip ambitious individuals with cutting-edge skills in areas like robotics, automation, data analytics, cyber security, and smart manufacturing.

“By partnering with local businesses, we're ensuring that our curriculum directly addresses the needs of our regional economy. Participants will gain hands-on experience with the latest industrial technologies, positioning them for high-quality jobs that drive productivity and innovation. This academy represents our commitment to fostering economic growth and creating opportunities for our community to thrive in the digital industrial revolution.”

Maria Curran, Project Director at Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA) commented: "We welcome the Assured Skills Academy in Robotics and Automation and are pleased to see that engineers from our member companies have actively collaborated with South West College to ensure the course delivery aligns closely with the needs and expectations of our local companies. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Department for the Economy for supporting this initiative. In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, it is imperative for the industry to have a workforce trained in the latest advancements. Whether by attracting new talent into the sector or by upskilling our current workforce, having proficient individuals in robotics and automation is crucial for advancing and growing our companies. This initiative will not only enhance our competitiveness but also secure a sustainable future for the industry.

“We strongly encourage anyone interested to apply for the course, which offers the flexibility of part-time sessions in the evenings and on Friday afternoons. This allows participants to gain valuable skills while managing their current commitments. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of the future of manufacturing and engineering."

Successful participants will attend a 14 week part time intensive training course delivered by SWC at their dedicated training facility in Dungannon where they will study ETCAL Level 2 Preparing and Using Industrial Robots and Level 2 Assembling and testing Fluid Systems.

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

The part time Academy will be delivered between Monday 2 September and Friday 13 December 2024. Training will be delivered on Monday and Wednesday evenings between 6.00pm and 9.00pm, and Friday afternoons 2.00pm to 5.30pm

More information on eligibility and details on how to apply can be found on the Part-time Robotics and Automation Academy page of the nidirect website.

The online application form must be completed by 12.00 noon on Friday 2 August 2024.

All applicants must be at least 18 years old by Monday 2 September 2024 and eligible to work in the UK at the time of application. By applying for a place on this pre-employment training programme, you are committing to pursuing a job opportunity with one of the employers supporting this Academy.

For further information please email your enquiry to

Notes to editors: 

1. Photograph caption: Maria Curran, Project Director at Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA), Padraig McNamee, Curriculum Director, SWC and Economy Minister Conor Murphy. 

2. The supporting companies are:

  • AIC Armagh
  • Axon Dungannon
  • BMI Dungannon
  • BSK Dungannon
  • EDGE Dungannon
  • Grenier Dungannon
  • Keystone Lintels Cookstown
  • Mannock Derrylin
  • McAuley Trailers Toombridge
  • Mallaghan Dungannon
  • RM Dungannon
  • SFM Keady
  • Specdrum Dungannon
  • Strickland Dungannon

3. 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.

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

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

6. 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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