The 50th National Skills Competition will take place in DIT Bolton Street

DIT will host the 50th Department of Education and Science National Skills Competition in DIT Bolton Street from the 20th to the 24th of March. This long running and highly competitive competition brings together the most technically skilled students from institutes of technology from across the country. This year will see 76 students taking part in total with 39 students representing DIT in 12 areas of skills, ranging from vehicle body repair to cookery. Elements of the competition will be held in Cork IT and Sligo IT where DIT students will also compete.

This year's Chair of the DIT National Skills Competition Organising Committee is Donal Keys from the DIT School of Construction. According to Mr. Keys, 'The National Skills Competition showcases the best of Irish talent in a variety of skilled areas and we are very honoured to host the 50th Anniversary of the competition here in Bolton Street. Without the significant support of my colleagues in DIT and the many sponsoring organisations that are involved, the competition would not be the success it is today'.

Some images from last year's National Skills Competition hosted by DIT:

DIT hosts the competition in conjunction with the Department and the DIT National Skills Competition Organising Committee deals with all aspects of event management and organisation of the competition from the opening ceremony to the running of the various competitions. This year for the first time, the closing ceremony of the competition will be held in the Round Room adjacent to the Mansion House on Saturday, 24th of March.

DIT has played a major role in the National Skills Competition (formally called the National Apprentice Competition) since it was established by the Department of Education and Science in 1957. Down through the years a great number of DIT students have been recipients of the Department of Education and Science prestigious silver medal, which is awarded to the national winner in the various skill areas. A number of this year's Silver Medal winners will go onto represent Ireland in the World Skills Competition, which will take place in Japan in November. Some 850 young people will attend the World Skills Competition, testing themselves against an international standard in 47 skills and technologies.

DIT has a long and distinguished involvement in providing apprentice training in Ireland as far back as1887, when classes first began in Kevin Street. In 1911 Bolton Street opened its doors to provide vocational education during the development of the Irish Free State. The Apprentice Act of 1931 saw DIT pioneer the provision of educational elements of apprenticeship training in variety of disciplines. Today, DIT is the largest provider of apprentice and education training in Ireland.

A notable DIT involvement was in 1963 when the College of Technology, Bolton Street, hosted the International Apprentice Competition, as it was known then, and medals were presented by President Eamon De Valera at an awards ceremony in Dublin Castle.

DIT would like to wish all competitors the best of luck.

>> See the competition timetable

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