Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has welcomed confirmation that the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is to open a new campus in Ennis as an opportunity to ensure that the county’s student population can avail of future employment opportunities.

“I am delighted that LIT is increasing its Clare footprint both in the new Ennis campus at Bindon Street and its Coonagh campus which will come on stream next year, providing a completely new kind of institutional setting for industry in the region,” Deputy Carey said.

“As Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Community and Rural Affairs, I have been pressing for third level institutions to expand their operations into regional centres where students can access part-time and industry specific education and training courses.

“I am particularly impressed with LIT’s policy of gearing its courses to the needs of local industry and preparing students for the jobs that will be most in demand in the future.

“This is one of the unique aspects of LIT’s ethos that persuaded Clare County Council to commit €750,000 to the Ennis campus and I am confident that this will prove a very worthwhile investment in the future.

“LIT is unique in having an enterprise campus co-located with each of its educational campuses and this reflects its emphasis on forging the closest possible links to industry in the region.

“This is particularly evident in the new campus at Coonagh which will focus on engineering and achieving excellence in areas such as aviation technology, avionics and robotics which are particularly relevant to Shannon airport and the Shannon Free Zone. 

“LIT’s new Strategic Plan 2018-2022 placed industrial collaboration as one of its central tenets with a heavy emphasis on this area in the €150 million capital investment plan that it will implement over the next three years,” Deputy Carey concluded.