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Tuesday, 25 April 2023: Ireland’s first dedicated High Voltage Electrical Systems programme was launched today in South East Technological University (SETU).

In partnership with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), South East Technological University and Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) combined their expertise in electrical engineering to co-develop and co-deliver this innovative 60 credit Level 6 programme to meet the changing needs of the industry.

The High Voltage Electrical Systems course is designed to upskill electricians and electrical engineers in the highly specialised area of High Voltage and aims to develop industry-recognised competence in areas such as High Voltage electrical installations, grid connections, substation maintenance and switching facilities.

Ireland’s electricity grid infrastructure has grown dramatically in recent years with the increase of large consumers of energy including large industry, data centres and the substantial growth in renewable energy provision.

The South East Regional Skills Forum identified this training need and facilitated the establishment of a consortium to investigate and ultimately develop the new programme.

According to Edmond Connolly, South East Regional Skills Forum Manager, “The specialised electrical contractors involved in the construction of such facilities acknowledged that they needed further specialised training for their staff working on high voltage electrical installations.

“This new qualification will help companies build their capacity to construct and manage high voltage facilities and also enable them to win new contracts abroad.”

Key to the development of the new programme was the involvement of the Construction Industry Federation’s Specialist Contraction Association which brought together Ireland’s leading electrical engineering firms who contributed to the design of the programme.

Head of Faculty at SETU and project manager for the programme, Dr Frances Hardiman said “It has been a valuable experience working with a strong industry consortium and TUS to co-develop and deliver a bespoke work based learning programme that utilises specialist skills in High Voltage from multiple sources, demonstrating the need for collaboration to deliver on the future skills agenda in engineering”.

The programme is jointly delivered by SETU and TUS in a part-time, blended learning mode over one year - summer to summer. It utilises a work-based model and will have 30 per cent of credits achieved in the participants’ place of work.

The programme commences in May 2023 with 16 employees from industry who will attend one day per week at SETU Waterford during the first semester and TUS Limerick during the second semester. Additional online classes will be delivered as well as a significant work based learning module assisting candidates apply the theory learned to the workplace.