LIMERICK Institute of Technology president Dr Maria Hinfelaar has called for the college’s campus master plan to be accelerated after demand for courses in two key areas far outstripped the number of places available.
Following the release of the first round of CAO offers last week, Dr Hinfelaar revealed that the Institute cannot satisfy demand for places on its engineering and culinary arts programmes due to campus capacity restrictions.
“There are very significant skills shortages in Ireland in culinary arts and engineering, which are major growth areas. Tourism is really picking up, not least across this region, and that growth will accelerate thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way promotion and Shannon Airport’s resurgence,” commented Dr Hinfelaar.
“Estimates earlier this year were that there are 3,000 unfilled posts in the hospitality sector. A similar situation will apply with engineering, which has a real challenge but a good one thanks to major jobs announcements by for instance Ettikon, Regeneron, Vistakon and Analog Devices locally.”
Dr Hinfelaar said LIT had “pushed our intake to the limit this year” in relation to engineering and culinary arts, but still falls short of meeting demand.
“We are restricted because of our campus capacity issues, so there is a huge need for our campus master plan to be accelerated and we will do this if we can get the resources. We are working hard at securing those resources but the sooner the better so we can help fill that skills shortage,” concluded Dr Hinfelaar.