Dundalk Chamber Skillnet launches innovative digital design & fabrication course with Creative Spark and DkIT

Pictured (from left) are Colman Ledwith (DkIT), Anton Barrett (DkIT), Aidan Callan (Dundalk Chamber Skillnet), Sarah Daley (Creative Spark), Paul Durkan (DkIT), Aidan Browne (DkIT)

Dundalk Chamber Skillnet has today announced details of a brand-new part-time certificate programme in Digital Design and Fabrication launching in January 2021. The level 6 accredited course is a joint collaboration between DkIT’s Department of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, the Creative Spark enterprise hub and Dundalk Chamber Skillnet. Applications to this course can be made now online.

The new one-year programme is open to individuals from a variety of sectors seeking to improve their knowledge of product design, prototyping and fabrication using digital computer-controlled processes. Using a mixture of classroom sessions, hands-on lab work and self-directed project work, this would will facilitate learners to engage in the creative design process, appreciate design principals as a problem solving activity and gain understanding of the role of digital fabrication in a design skillset.

Aidan Callan of Dundalk Chamber Skillnet and Thomas McDonagh the Skillnet Network Promoter and director UHY FDW added: “Digital Design and Fabrication is a 21st-century skill and is in major demand in our network. We are delighted work with DkIT and Creative Spark to address this skills gap and to make the training more affordable and accessible to businesses by offering a subsidising up to 30% per eligible participants. Knowledge-driven businesses and industries are key drivers of regional economies and it is important that we continue to stimulate through accredited training and professional development.”

Aidan Browne, Head of Business Development & Innovation at DkIT said, “We are delighted to launch this collaborative programme in 2021 with Creative Spark and Dundalk Chamber Skillnet. In today’s challenging business environment, strong skills in product development and creative digital design are vital if companies are to compete and diversify as market conditions change. In speaking to our clients, we recognised a high demand for these skills among employers across our region and we are pleased to be able respond to this market need with this new industry-focused accredited programme.

Together with our partners, we have a shared understanding that growing of our region’s enterprise sector is dependent on the provision to creative and innovative solutions to industry upskilling and knowledge advancement. This programme is an excellent example of strong collaboration in action.”

Sarah Daly, Executive Director of Creative Spark, added: “The needs of modern-day manufacturing align incredibly well with contemporary artistic methodologies and creative technologies, and we are delighted to bring our expertise in this area to co-deliver this programme alongside DkIT.

The new Digital Design & Fabrication certificate course is the perfect combination of creativity and innovation. The programme is highly practical in nature and is intended to give students the ability to gain knowledge of design thinking, product design, rapid prototyping and digital fabrication. These are critical skills required of any enterprise seeking to develop new products to go market. In addition to learning about the fundamentals of design methodology, students will develop an understanding of creative design methods, material selection and manufacturing processes used for rapid prototyping.”

To be eligible for subsidised training by Skillnet, applicants must be employed and resident in the Republic of Ireland. Further details on funding eligibility can be found through contacting Aidan Callan directly at aidan.callan@dundalkskillnet.ie

Over recent year, DkIT has been working closely with both partners across a variety of areas. In September 2020, the institute partnered with Dundalk Chamber Skillnet as part of the “Business ReVive” programme aimed at supporting business recovery post lockdown. The programme provided 70% funding to local enterprise to support conversion training on key skills identified as critical to long-term business recovery.

In 2018 DkIT and the Creative Spark signed a memorandum of understanding which outlined three-year framework for strategic partnership. This included commitments to explore areas of collaboration around the Creative Spark FABLAB project and joint training supports and facilities.

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