Girl Power at Tipperary Education and Training Board’s FET Centre

October 22, 2019

Tipperary Education and Training Board welcomed its first female apprentice on site on the 8th October at its Further Education and Training (FET) Centre in Archerstown, Thurles. Aoibhinn Kidney who is an Electronic Security Systems Apprentice, employed by Chubb Ireland has commenced her Phase 2, 20-week training in the FET Centre.

Matthew Ryan Training Services Manager is delighted to have female apprentices on site and wishes Aoibhinn continued success in her apprenticeship career. TETB is also expecting a second female apprentice to join the Centre next week as an Apprentice Electrician. The addition of female apprentices, adds a new dynamic in the centre and is testimony to the growing interest in apprenticeship trades and what it can offer as an alternative to college or university.

Aoibhinn explains her thoughts and experiences of being an ESS Apprentice with Chubb Ireland:

I went through secondary school thinking that apprenticeships were only electricians, plumbers and that it was a boy thing. I couldn’t be more wrong.   I can’t encourage girls enough to look into apprenticeships. I’ve wanted to be an engineer since I was in my 4th year of secondary school.   When I was reading up about apprenticeships, I came across Chubb it was exactly what I was looking for. I am very happy I chose the route of an apprenticeship rather than just college. I get experience while also attending college and coming out as a qualified engineer. I also can’t deny that being paid a wage to do an apprenticeship isn’t a bonus either!

I’m currently working with Chubb alongside a commissioning engineer. We are working on commissioning the fire alarm system for a new hospital extension. We are testing and verifying the operation of all devices on the system.  Our aim for this project is to hand over a fully functioning alarm system on time.

Each day is different. When you wake up in the morning you really don’t know where you could end up!   This is my favourite part of the job. I could never imagine myself working 9-5 staring at a screen. You can get to work in so many different places such as world class distilleries, banks and pharmaceutical plants which is excellent experience for the future. Chubb is also a global company so you can work with Chubb almost in any part of the world. You can get opportunities to work abroad for periods of time also. I haven’t worked abroad yet but other apprentices in the company have and I hope to also one day as it would be a great experience.

Apprenticeship is defined as a programme of structured education and training. It formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education or training centre. Apprenticeship is a dual system, a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training. To encourage specific sectors to employ female apprentices, a special female apprentice bursary may be paid to qualifying companies wishing to train apprentices in specific occupations.

ESS Workshop

In 2017, TETB received approval for the development of the site for the provision of training facilities for Apprenticeships Trades at Phase 2. The centre provides training for 170 apprentices in the following trades: electrical, electronic security systems and construction plant fitting. The centre also offers training programmes for the unemployed and those in employment who wish to upskill by offering day and evening training provision.   The FET Centre is continuing to expand as it has just opened a Hospitality Centre which includes a Training Kitchen and Restaurant. In 2020, the centre is expanding its Apprenticeship offering to provide training facilities for Plumbers and Welders.

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