DIT hosts National Skills 2012

17 September 2012: DIT once again hosted the National Skills Competition 2012, with some fifty apprentices and students from around Ireland competing over three days in their respective skills areas.  According to Martin Sneyd, Chair of the DIT Organising Committee, “DIT is very proud to facilitate the competition for these highly skilled young people, who represent the best in Irish industry.  All are competing to be deemed ‘the best in Ireland’ in their specific skill, and for the much coveted Winner’s Trophy.  In the current economic climate it most important to promote, encourage and acknowledge excellence among our skilled young people and national competitions are an ideal vehicle for achieving that.”


Top left: Mr. Martin Sneyd makes a special presentation to John Smartt, also an active member of the National Skills Committee, who retired this year from DIT and as Team Ireland’s Expert at Worldskills

Bottom left: National Skills Trophies

Right: Winners of National Skills Competitions

At the opening ceremony, which took place in the Gresham Hotel on Monday 10th September, the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton told the competitors that technological excellence is vital to Ireland’s economic success, and the National and Worldskills Competitions provide a showcase for Ireland’s worldclass standards in so many skill areas.  “At the last WorldSkills Competition in London 2011, Team Ireland brought home no less than three Gold Medals and five medallions of Excellence.  I am sure that the team chosen to compete in Leipzig next year will include some of competitors here this week, and I also sure that they will be excellent ambassadors for Ireland.


Paul O’Sullivan, DIT Director and Dean of the College of Business, presenting the Winner’s Trophy for Sheetmetal Work to Michéal Ward, Shercock PO Co. Monaghan

At the closing ceremony and presentation of Awards on Friday 14th, also in the Gresham Hotel, the following were the Award Winners:

Aircraft Maintenance:
Joe Kelly, Co. Clare, working with Transaero Engineering Ireland – trained in DIT

Autobody Repair:
Donal McDermott, Co. Roscommon, working with Gerry Gill, Co. Roscommon – trained at DIT

Brian Conville, Dublin, working with Michael Conville, Raheny, Dublin 5 – trained at DIT

Cabinet Making:
Anthony O’Neill, Co. Carlow – student at GMIT

Car Painting
Vincent Harney, Co. Wicklow, self- employed – trained at DIT

Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
Sean Martin, Dublin, working with ESB, Tallaght – trained at DIT

Painting & Decorating
Martin Mulligan, Co. Meath, working with Thomas Mulligan, Enfield, Co. Meath – trained at DIT

Ciaran Coady, Co. Wexford, working with Barrossa Plumbing and Heating, New Ross – trained at WIT

Polymechanic Automation
Ronan Guerin, Swords, Co. Dublin, working with Dublin Airport Authority – trained at DIT

Sheetmetal Work
Michael Ward, Co. Monaghan, working with MJW Engineering, Co. Monaghan – trained at DIT

Mr. Paul O’Sullivan, Director and Dean of the College of Business, DIT, congratulated the winners and all of the competitors on behalf of DIT.  Commenting that they may have been surprised to find the Dean of Business addressing them, he said “Successful countries have always had strong skills training models – just look at Germany, for example.”  Acknowledging that the building industry had been too large at its height, he said the level of building right now in Ireland is too low and needs to double within the next few years.  “The recent Government stimulus package will create a demand for your skills, and that demand will rise quickly so it is important that we maintain and build those skills so that you can contribute to rebuilding the economy – as craftsmen and women, as entrepreneurs and as employers.”

Mr. Don O’Sullivan, Construction Industry Federation, echoed those remarks and said the need to maintain our skills base must not be ignored.  “We have seen a decline from €37 billion in 2007, to just €8 billion this year in construction, and from 400,000 employed to 100,000.  The norm should be for construction to account for 10% of the economy, and at the moment it is just 6% so we need to recover that ground.  In this situation our skills base can become dissipated, but the National Skills Competition shows that we can rebuild.”


Enda Fagan, former colleague, who acted as official photographer at the competiton


Martin Sneyd, School of Construction and Chair of the DIT National Skills Organising Committee


Mr. Tom Corrigan, Dean of Craft Education and Training, DIT, with Mr. Don O’Sullivan, Construction Industry Federation


Mr. Martin Sneyd makes a special presentation to Tommy Tutty, recently retired, who was a highly successful mentor for many years in Joinery

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