Generation Apprenticeship: Suir Engineering

Paul Cremmins, Director, Suir Engineering speaks about his recent contribution to our Management Excellence for Teachers Programme. Paul delivered a seminar highlighting the many apprenticeship opportunities’ in the construction industry, in particular in Suir Engineering. This seminar was delivered to Guidance Counsellors in the South East region. In addition to this seminar Paul also established links with future employees by visiting schools.

Tell us how you engage the future talent pipeline:

Over the past two years I have been visiting secondary schools to speak to students & career counsellors about apprenticeships and construction studies. This provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the blended education system associated with apprenticeships as opposed to the independent and practice led learning associated with regular 3rd level education. It also allows me the opportunity to explain the requirements necessary to qualify for an apprenticeship and the commitment to ensure qualification at the end of the four years. The students need the correct information on the value of an apprenticeship and understand that it’s not an alternative to going to college, rather another way as 25% of the apprenticeship is college based. I explain to the students that far too many drop out of college after the 1st year, even up to 30% in some courses. This is not the students fault as they got there originally on merit, rather independent learning doesn’t suit everyone.

What does this mean for your company?

It ensures that all applicants wishing to join Suir Engineering Ltd. fully appreciate the industry standard and have some knowledge of the careers and opportunities available within the construction industry. It’s also important to provide the students and career counsellors with real information on what the industry requires as opposed to what the present education system assumes we need. It provides them with accurate information on what it takes to become a tradesperson and the career path available once qualified, especially in the technical trades.

What does it mean to you as an individual?

I have spent over 45 years in the industry and this has given me a chance to ensure that the students who come into our industry fully understand the importance of an apprenticeship and the commitment necessary to succeed and develop their skills.

If you could have one hope apprenticeships in the future what would it be?

To develop more non-manual work skills-based apprenticeships. There is no reason why accountancy, engineering and other office-based careers could not be time served within a blended education system.

Paul will be running another apprenticeship seminar in conjunction with BITCI this coming Autumn for Guidance Counsellors and Teachers in Cork. For more information, please contact local & programme coordinator Celine McGrath at or 086 8585666.