A leading Monaghan-based entrepreneur has highlighted the challenges facing students seeking employment in a post COVID-19 environment. Martin McVicar, Managing Director of Combilift says that while Covid-19 has disrupted all aspects of life, it will have a lasting impact for those faced with making career decisions as they finish school.
The Combilift Managing Director was speaking as the company announced it was opening recruitment for its Traineeship. The Traineeship, now in its 6th year, is one of the very few courses that continued with its practical on-the-job element during the pandemic. Trainees are currently completing the remaining weeks of their 12-week placement at the Combilift Global Headquarters in line with social distancing requirements.
“Many students are now asking themselves if they want to go away to college and incur the financial cost of studying away from home and then find themselves attending college on-line or graduating with a qualification in a very changed employment market.”
McVicar believes that by opting for the Traineeship students are offered a fantastic opportunity to qualify with a nationally recognised qualification locally, at no cost and gain valuable work experience that is impressive on a CV.
Combilift in partnership with Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) have successfully delivered the OEM Engineering Technology Traineeships for over 6 years with 80% successfully gaining employment from the course.
Increased demand for Combilift forklifts means that those applying for its Traineeship will be fast-tracked through the application process for employment when they complete the course, according to the Combilift Managing Director.
“Since the start of the course in 2015 over 100 people have completed the Traineeship and the vast majority are still working with us. Several have gained promotion while others have been sponsored by the company to undertake further study at apprenticeship or degree level. We have trainee graduates who have progressed and are now completing degree programmes on a part-time basis with Sligo Institute of Technology and others who have taken up places on the OEM Apprenticeship Programme.”
Martin McVicar says that the course is producing highly qualified and employable engineering graduates. “The past year, despite the global interruption to business and supply chain has been a challenging one for Combilift and we are very much focused on recruiting more qualified staff to meet growing demand but recognise that people need to be up- skilled.
The Traineeship offers an opportunity to gain both a recognised qualification and practical work experience locally. The students who complete the course get an excellent blend of practical training and knowledge which means they are job ready.”
The growth of online shopping and the need for companies to implement social distancing, is driving demand for warehouse space, that means they need more vehicles and in turn Combilift have the need to recruit additional staff. In 2020 we achieved over €300milion in sales and are planning to exceed that target in 2021,” says Martin McVicar.
“With an expanding workforce, high-tech engineering and equipment, in our state-of-the-art facilities, this is an industry that is growing and a perfect opportunity for OEM Engineering Trainees to get a solid basis and understanding of the basic principles of Engineering and work on innovative projects” according to the Combilift Managing Director.
The Traineeship offers a combination of work-place learning with Combilift and
classroom-based learning at Monaghan Institute. The course content has a mix of practical hands-on experience combined with classroom-based training. Designed by Engineers at Combilift in collaboration with the CMETB, it includes Engineering Processes, Auto Electricity, Control Systems, Engineering Drawing, CAD and Hydraulics.
The opportunity to be fast-tracked in a job application to Combilift on completion of the course has attracted a large number of applications from students in Monaghan, Cavan, Meath, Galway, Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh.
In the Traineeship there are no course fees, PPE and tool kits are provided to students and individuals may also be eligible for a range of financial support including a training allowance or company bursary, travel and meal allowances.
A Virtual Tour and Information on the Traineeship will be available on Tuesday 23rd March and applicants will have the opportunity to talk with course tutors, past and current Trainees and have all their questions answered at this virtual event.
The Combilift Managing Director is advising applicants to apply early. “ln the last number of years there has been increased competition for places on the Traineeship from across the region so we would encourage people who are finishing their studies or those seeking to change careers to apply now and not wait until they have completed their exams.”
CMETB Traineeships programmes are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme of Employability Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.
For more information and to book your place on this virtual event on Tuesday 23rd March at 7pm, visit www.combilift.com/training