CONSTRUCTION workers and Senior Cycle Students in Inishowen will receive a unique opportunity this January as the NZEB [Near Zero Energy Building] Mobile Training Unit has now arrived in Buncrana and will remain here for three weeks.

This is the first time that this unique innovative training unit has come to Donegal following negotiations between the National Construction Training Centre, Mount Lucas, and Inishowen Development Partnership.

The fully equipped NZEB Training Rig pulled into its new base of the Scarvey [Buncrana’s GAA pitch] yesterday afternoon and it will remain there until the end of the month where it will provide local construction workers the opportunity to upskill right on their doorsteps. 

Crucially senior cycle students from the peninsula’s five second level schools will also have the opportunity to get direct hands-on experience as the unit visits the schools and delivers the Mount Lucas-designed Schools Programme. 

Joint CEO of IDP Shauna McClenaghan said planning for this unit to come to Inishowen has been in the works for some time. She paid tribute to team members who were influential in working with Mount Lucas to secure the sought-after visit of the training rig. 

“Through our involvement in Inishowen Skillnet, IDP, through Ana McColgan, has developed links with the National Construction Centre, Mount Lucas and following on from our INBusiness series in 2022 when we reached out to the construction industry, we feel this is responding to the need that exists in the sector locally,” explained Shauna.

Courses such as NZEB fundamentals and Retrofit will be held for construction workers which provides an excellent starting point along with the sought-after Site Supervisor Programme. With the local construction and manufacturing companies, architects and engineers, who have previously completed programmes, this ongoing training and development is vital to continue to support the upskilling and cross-skilling of our Inishowen construction and related sectors.

There will also be dedicated programmes for unemployed people who are eager to get into this sector. 

Shauna said they have been working with the Local Area Employment Service team members within IDP to identify a cohort of unemployed individuals in Inishowen to avail of this training free of charge.

IDP’s Ana McColgan added that they are delighted to be able to facilitate the arrival of the training unit and thanked Buncrana GAA for providing the rig with a base for the month of January.

“More than 40 local construction workers have already successfully completed the Near Zero Energy Building courses through Mount Lucas and IDP,” said Ana.

“We are delighted to be able to facilitate the arrival of this training unit in Inishowen giving our construction workers and the unemployed hands-on experience and with the added dimension of giving second level school students a chance to gain practical skills they can use towards their Leaving Certificate,” added Ana.