Limerick Institute of Technology is to increase its offering of targeted courses in areas of high workplace demand by almost 30 percent to meet the skill needs of growth sectors across the Midwest.
The courses, which will be a combination of part-time, blended and online courses, are part of an overall €4.3 million investment from the Department of Education & Skills and will be largely subsidised for successful applicants by the State’s Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative schemes.
Springboard+ funding has enabled LIT to continue to respond to industry demands, and together with funding from the Human Capital Initiative will form part of the response to industry needs arising from Covid-19.
There are 709 postgraduate places on offer, up from a total of 547 places offered by the institution in 2019. The areas being covered under the scheme – considered to be growth sectors in the region – include pharmaceuticals, medical technology, regulatory affairs, IT, aircraft maintenance, digital marketing, construction and 3D visual effects.
621 of the places are through Springboard+ and 88 are through the Human Capital Initiative.
Head of Flexible Learning at LIT, Dr Philip Hennessy, said the increase funding for 2020 highlights the changing requirements of the economy in the region.
“LIT is a solutions-based institution with a reputation for working closely with industry in the region, supporting research and ensuring our students are work ready and meeting the skills needs of industry is what we’re all about. The local and national economy is ever evolving and changing, and this increase in Springboard+ and Human Capital funding for 2020 shows LIT’s ability to be flexible in meeting those requirements, both for graduates and employers. We are continuing to offer high quality blended and online programmes to meet the needs of those developing their careers and for businesses in need of an upskilled workforce.”
Registrar and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Marian Duggan, welcomed the funding allocation from the Department and said that LIT will continue to be an accessible institution focused on industry needs.
“This is a win-win for our graduates and for industry across the Midwest. The increase in places available at LIT this year under the Springboard+ and Human Capital initiatives points to the third level institution’s ability to meet the demands and requirements of industry and business both regionally and nationally. It is critical for a recovering economy to ensure workers in growth areas are in a position to upskill and adapt to different needs. We’re very proud to provide that platform throughout our LIT campuses across the Midwest.”
President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane, outlined that LIT will continue to work closely with regional, national and international businesses to ensure the institution’s graduates will continue to be ready for the workplace.
“This latest increase in funding for our flexible learning programmes is a further endorsement to our approach of producing work-ready graduates to contribute to regional and national economic growth. The latest HEA Graduate Outcome Survey, released last month, showed that LIT has the highest rate of full-time employment in any higher education institution outside Dublin. We intend to continue to prioritise a positive student experience at the institute, across all of our Midwest campuses, while remaining focused on delivering graduates that can hit the ground running across regional, national and international industry.”