Global manufacturing: Ireland invests in next-generation engineers

By Control Engineering Staff March 28, 2007

Galway, Ireland —Technology Subjects Support Service—known as t4, Ireland’s teacher support and training division in the Irish Department of Education—has announced the CAD for Education initiative. The goal of the initiative is to expand technology education in second-level schools, and further grow the pool of skilled local engineers through second-level training in computer aided design tools. Twenty-five thousand licenses of SolidWorks software are being provided to kick off the initiative.

t4 officially launched CAD for Education along with authorized SolidWorks reseller, Solid Solutions Ireland. The Department of Education purchased 25,000 licenses of SolidWorks 3D CAD software to deploy in 500 second-level schools to enhance CAD, communication graphics, and engineering curricula. SolidWorks will be the only 3D CAD software taught in second-level schools in Ireland.

Ireland already has a very high caliber of engineering personnel available, and a high rate of businesses relocating or expanding there. According to Control Engineering Europe Editor Michael Babb, an often cited reason for locating a business in Ireland is its young and technically skilled workforce. More than 36% of Ireland’s population is under the age of 25, as opposed to about 28% for all of Europe.

Richard Cooper, VP Europe for Horner APG, thinks his company did the right thing in expanding outside of Indianapolis and opening up its European operations in Cork, Ireland. Horner APG manufactures small PLCs and HMIs, and has been steadily increasing its business, in spite of fierce competition from other well-established European companies. Cooper says that, in addition to the people, “there’s enough electronics infrastructure to support small manufacturers like ourselves.”

Microsoft noticed Ireland’s attributes and located its operations and development centers for the entire Europe, Middle East, and Asia region in Dublin. That operation employs 1,600 people and is Microsoft’s fiduciary, tax, and legal hub for the region, serving customers in 70 countries.

Control Engineering Europe is an English-language publication issued 6 times a year, providing case studies, technical articles, and local news and product information to print and e-newsletter subscribers throughout Western Europe.

For more on manufacturing in Ireland, see “ Global Focus on Manufacturing, Ireland: Welcome Wagon for Western Europe ” by Michael Babb.

Renee Robbins , editorial director,, Control Engineering Weekly News
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